Werribee onballer Tom Gribble is back to his ball magnet best, averaging 28 disposals a game in the Victorian Football League this season.
A bounce back year of sorts, Gribble is relishing continuity in his game, something he has struggled with in previous seasons due to injuries and a shuffling of his role within Werribee’s previous alignment with North Melbourne.
“My first year at the club, I had a really good year learning from the likes of Jarred Moore and Jye Bolton,” the 23-year-old said. “Then I missed a year through injury, which was a complete wipe out.
“Then the full alignment was a bit frustrating to be honest, I’m not going to lie.
“I played a lot of different roles than I wasn’t really accustomed to and I just didn’t have a lot of consistency with my footy.”
It has all fallen back into place for Gribble this season. He is no longer plagued by the raft of niggling injuries that disrupted his 2017 season.
There is also a clearly defined role for him that comes with Werribee becoming a standalone club again.
“Coming into this year, I was really excited to be able to play consistently week in week out,” he said.
“It really helps your frame of mind.
“I really wanted to get back to where I was pre-injury and with [best-and-fairest] Matt [Hanson] going down with injury, it emphasised the need for me to go back to that place even more and raise the bar [for the team].
“I’ve really tried to improve my clearance and contested work because Matt is obviously a contested beast.”
With an elite offensive game, Gribble is continually working at his defensive skills.
“We’re all ball hunters at heart and we love getting the footy, so we can always improve in that area,” he said.
“For me it’s just reading the cues when we’re going to win the ball or when the opposition is going to win the ball and then locating from there.
“It’s a work in progress, but I’m getting better at it.”
Gribble is keen to grow with the current group of players.
“I love the club and I think we’re primed to have some success next year,” he said.