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Ibbotson aims to finish on a high

Garrick Ibbotson speaks to Docker TV ahead of the WAFL Grand Final. Garrick Ibbotson chats to Docker TV ahead of the WAFL Grand Final

Garrick Ibbotson may have played his final game for Fremantle but the 177 AFL game player is motivated to finish his career on a high in Peel’s 2017 WAFL Grand Final clash with Subiaco on Sunday.

The defender is preparing for his first grand final since his junior days, missing Fremantle’s 2013 grand final clash with Hawthorn due to an achilles tendon injury.

Ibbotson expects he will be feeling the nerves come game day but expects to approach the clash like any other.

“I’ve never really played in a grand final before, apart from juniors when I was 13 maybe, but outside of that, nothing,” Ibbotson said.

“I’ve been reasonably relaxed but feeling a little bit different knowing that it’s going to be the last game I’ll ever play, so there’s the excitement of a grand final and the excitement of what’s to come next. 

“I’ve been looking forward to it. I’m usually pretty good throughout the week, but as I get into my Peel clothes or Freo clothes, I start to get a little bit nervous knowing the game’s getting closer and I’m on my way to play.”

Playing alongside many of his teammates from his past 12 years at Fremantle, Ibbotson said it would be nice to retire with a win.

“Fingers crossed that we can get across the line, it will be a nice way to finish,” Ibbotson said.

“To play a grand final with guys that I’ve spent a lot of time here, and guys I’ve become quite close with at Peel Thunder too, it would be nice to finish that way.” 

With a week off heading into the grand final, Ibbotson has allowed himself time to reflect on his career at Freo.

“I was thinking about it a little bit yesterday. I was standing in the gym just looking out that the oval, even just thinking about cleaning out my locker and getting rid of my boots,” Ibbotson said. 

“It’s been, for 12 years, pretty much the same for me going into an off-season, knowing that I’m going to be coming back.

“Each year there are people that come and go but I’ve always been here, but this time I’m the one who’s walking out the door.

“It’s a little bit different but I’m really looking forward to something new.”

Ibbotson says he won’t be underestimating a Subiaco side coming off an impressive win over South Fremantle in last week’s preliminary final.

“I think Subi have been the best team all year, they won 19 in a row and have been a really strong side for four or five years now,” Ibbotson said.

“We played them earlier in the finals series and we were able to get the job done, but a grand final is a little bit of a different story. 

“We watched them last week against South and they were really good.

“We’ve got young guys in our side and they’re really excited to play footy and play in a grand final. Our preparation has been good up to this point and we need to continue to do that. 

“Come game day, we need to be able to focus and play as a team, be hard at it and see how we go.”

 

 

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs