After a horror loss to the Tigers in the 2017 Grand Final, Adelaide players endured a tortuous camp that rocked the playing group, leaving many to be frustrated at the club.
Speaking on the Greats with Garby podcast, Gibbs labeled the camp “a disaster” and revealed that he was placed into a leadership group for the trip.
“The club said to me ‘look we’re putting this camp together, are you keen to get involved? There’s going to be different levels… we want to put you in the leadership one’,” he said.
“I was rocking up to the club and wanted to build good relationships straight away and I thought this could be an opportunity for me to get to know the players quicker.
“The hard thing was we weren’t told what was going to be involved on this camp. A lot of the details, we didn’t really have any details to be honest. So we went in blind and not knowing what to expect.
“I think their intensions were good and genuine that it was going to help us, but it was obviously a disaster. It affected players in different ways for different reasons.”
Gibbs believed younger players who wouldn’t have experienced as many pre-season camps would have struggled to cope.
“Personally I was going into my 13th year, I’d been on that many SAS camps and I thought I’d seen it all, so I could filter what I thought I could get out of what we were doing and I could ignore the rubbish that was going on,” he said.
“I was okay with it, I knew some guys were struggling from time to time with it. All you can do is put your arm around them and make sure they are okay and check in with them. It wasn’t until they debrief it later down the track, they probably should’ve debriefed it earlier than they did just to squash it on the head.
“The club have put their hand up and said it was a complete miss and if we could do things differently we would’ve.”
Gibbs revealed the players soon lost trust with some of the club’s decision making.
“We hopped on a bus on the Gold Coast and ended up in New South Wales. I couldn’t even tell you where we were to be honest. It certainly hurt the group probably more so than I thought it did at the time looking back,” he said.
“I think the playing group lost a bit of trust with the footy department. Obviously a lot of details we weren’t allowed to know going into the camp, we all had to sign waivers just to say we can’t speak about it after.
“It was just strange the way it played out and I think the playing group lost trust with some of the decisions the club was making and some of the decisions going forward.”