Star Geelong Amateur signing Tom Gribble is comfortable he’s given all he can at VFL level and is ready to return to local football.
Gribble finished third in this year’s VFL best-and-fairest and third in the Werribee best-and-fairest as the Tigers’ reached their first grand final since 2005.
“I completely emptied the tank and gave VFL footy my all,” the gun midfielder told K rock Football.
“I can hold my head up high and say that I didn’t come back to local footy and take the easier option, which I think a lot of guys do now.
“The VFL stalwarts are getting phased out a little bit.
“So, to empty the tank and give it my all, I can certainly hang my hat on that.”
Strong connections are what have landed the nearly 29-year-old at KFC Oval.
“Purely close friends from my childhood,” Gribble said. “The two coaches, ‘Kersh’ (Riley Kershaw) and (Daniel) Holroyd, and some players.
“I played with Harry Kershaw at Werribee, and Riley Ferguson’s a really close schoolmate of mine.
“It’s the transition in my life – increasing the focus on my career outside of footy rather than having to commit a lot of time and energy to the VFL system.
“Ammos is 200m from my front door, so it saves a lot of time in the car.
“There’s a multitude of factors, but mainly the chance to play with some really close schoolmates and be coached by some really close schoolmates.”
A junior with GFNL club Geelong West-St Peter’s, Gribble is looking forward to finding himself under the microscope as he looks to help Ammos to their first flag since 2016.
“It’s nice not walking into established success, so hopefully I can contribute to building towards something and maybe win a premiership,” he said.
“And I’m looking forward to imparting some knowledge and helping young guys develop.
“The microscope at local level is more heightened than VFL level given the coverage of local footy.
“I don’t think it’ll phase me too much.
“Yeah, there’s a level of expectation, and I’ll hold myself to high standards.”