2006 number one draft pick Bryce Gibbs has weighed in on Jason Horne-Francis’ debut season and the seemingly endless media discussion.
Talk about SEN’s Saturdays in SA Gibbs explained how he coped with the extra pressure and attention that comes with taking the first pick.
“(Media Control) is unfortunately part of the territory whether you like it or not,” Gibbs said.
“It was really good for me because it creates resilience in you.
“So if you’re not doing well or your team isn’t going well and you feel like the media is coming after you, externally people are talking about you, then your skin gets thicker.”
The 268 gamer recounted his early days with Carlton at Horne-Francis’ time in North Melbourne, assuring the 18-year-old that it will get better as he gets older in the game.
“I went through similar things in my first couple of years, in terms of going to Carlton who was at the bottom of the ladder, if I hadn’t been to Carlton I would have undoubtedly fallen (on) form and had a spell in the two,” he explained.
“All those things, looking back later in my career, I was better at it, and it made me more resilient, and it made me thicker skin when people would have an opinion about how you’re technically going or how your team is going and I doubt it.” don’t suggest that Jason is in a similar position, and he will be better off for this experience.
“It may not look like it at the moment, but he certainly will.
“For the rest of his career he will be talked about more often because of where he went in the draft.”
Horne-Francis has made headlines for returning to South Australia for Mother’s Day earlier this year unbeknownst to the club, while he has also raised questions by postponing contract extension talks with the Kangaroos.
His body language on the field has also been criticized by a freshman who is clearly frustrated by the struggles of his 17th-placed Roos.
But just 11 games into his career, Horne-Francis would hope to heed Gibbs’ words and evolve into a star of the game.