Veteran Gibson to play on for Hawks in AFL

Veteran Gibson to play on for Hawks in AFL

Veteran Hawthorn defender Josh Gibson says he’s close to signing a new deal to continue his AFL career with the Hawks next season.

Gibson will turn 33 in March but the 209-game veteran continues to play an important role for coach Alastair Clarkson.

Captain Luke Hodge, 32, and Shaun Burgoyne, 33, are the other over 30s at the club who have yet to have their futures finalised after Sam Mitchell signed a one-year contract extension in June.

“I’m pretty confident I’ll be playing next year,” Gibson told the Sunday Footy Show.

“But I’ve said all year that I’ve just been leaving that to my manager to work out with the footy club.

“We’ve always said at Hawthorn it’s not about age. Clarko doesn’t look at birth certificates, it’s the way you play for the side.

“I’ve just tried to be consistent this year as some of the other guys have been.”

Speculation over Hodge’s future continues with the skipper struggling with injury at times this season.

But Clarkson told reporters earlier this year that Hawthorn aren’t in the business of forcing club greats into retirement.

Gibson switched from North Melbourne to Hawthorn ahead of the 2010 season and went on to play a key role in the club’s triple-premiership-winning era.

The Hawks’ bid for a historic fourth flag in a row received a boost on Saturday when they strengthened their grip on top spot with a 39-point win over the Kangaroos.

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