Premiership Melbourne Demons defender Michael Hibberd is cherishing every moment in his AFL career

Despite being just 186cm tall, he ranks as the third tallest guard – usually the deepest striker – alongside All-Australians Steven May and Jack Liver, and he’s also capable of playing small forward .

Hibbard is Melbourne's third tallest defender.

Hibbard is Melbourne’s third tallest defender.Credit: Getty Images

But importantly, Hibbard released the swingman Harry Petty to play the key forward, and There were a lot of moving parts in the Melbourne attack. petty bourgeoisie and Young Gunner Jacob van Rooyen Working with a rested Lachman Max Gawn on Monday night, Ben Brown and Tom McDonald went down in Casey.

“I like to think I’m flexible. I’ve been playing smaller players for years, and very tricky smaller players at that – but I’ve been saying for a while that I like to play a third taller role, or in a taller role. character,” Hibbard said. “Petty has come forward and shown that he can play there. It’s just a different look for us. The coaches are very happy with the balance we have back there.

“As long as I’m bickering and fighting, I’m going to hold my position. We’ve got some great players, including Lever and ‘Maysy’ – they’re unbelievable partners and they make you a little bit more every week. better.”

Hibbard may be physically ill, but he’s still incredibly valuable and dependable.

After many bitter encounters over the years, he resumed hostilities with Dustin Martin on Monday night, then poured in after three early goals propelled Richmond to a staggering 25-point first-half lead. Extinguish the flames of Noah Cumberland.

Goodwin praised his players’ ability to win that game, with Hibbard making one of the key contributions ahead of upcoming friendly draws against North Melbourne, the Gold Coast and Hawthorne.

“We knew Richmond was still a very strong team, we knew they were going to pump up this big game, they fired up, and we were maybe a little slow to start,” Hibbard said.

“I’m not sure we stopped them in the second half [26 points] But bouncing back in the second half, keeping them low and getting the result was very pleasing.

“You want to win at any point in the season, especially early on, to build momentum and confidence. We’re 4-2 and in the top four, which is very important because you don’t know what the end of the year is going to look like.”

Hibbard was named to the All-Australian team in 2017, his first season with the Devils, after missing the previous season along with the rest of the suspended Bombers as part of the club’s notorious supplementary penalties.

That was after he’d come a long way into the AFL, being overlooked in his initial draft year and then forced in by back-to-back strong VFL campaigns for Frankston.

But those challenges pale in comparison to Hibbard’s tragically lost his brother and number one fan jeffAfter going fishing in the early morning of April 2020, he never found it. Now, he just wants to “enjoy every week”.

“There have been some crazy ups and downs along the way, but it’s been a really cool ride and no matter what happens this year, whether I get 200 or not, I’m really happy with what I’ve been able to accomplish

“It would be great to get there, but if not, it’s not the end of the world. But hopefully there’s still a lot to go. I’m greedy – I want more success, let’s see.”

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