Former number one pick weighs in on Horne-Francis freshman blues

The number one pick in the 2006 draft, Bryce Gibbs, weighed in on Jason Horne-Francis’ freshman season and the seemingly endless media discussion.

speaking on SEN Saturdays in South Africa Gibbs talked about how he handled the extra pressure and attention that comes with being picked as the first pick.

“(Media scrutiny) comes with the territory, unfortunately, whether you like it or not,” Gibbs said.

“It was really good for me because it creates resilience in you.

“So when you’re not doing so well or your team isn’t doing so well and you feel like the media is picking on you, people outside are talking about you, it thickens your skin.”

The 268-year-old linked his Carlton debut with Horne-Francis’ time at North Melbourne and assured the 18-year-old it will get better as he matures in the game.

“I went through similar things in my first two years, in terms of going to Carlton which was at the bottom of the scale, if I wasn’t at Carlton, there’s no doubt that I would have been dropped (in) form and had a spell in both,” he explained.

“All of those things, looking back later in my career, I was better at it, and it made me more resilient, and it made me thicker-skinned when people would have an opinion on the how you are going in terms of form or how your team is going and I have no doubt that Jason is in a similar position, and he will be better for this experience.

“It may not seem like it right now, but it certainly will.

“For the rest of his career, he will be talked about more often than not because of where he went in the draft.”

Horne-Francis found himself in the headlines for his return to South Australia without the club’s knowledge earlier in the year for Mother’s Day, when he also raised questions by delaying talks of contract extension with the Kangaroos.

His body language on the pitch has also been criticized for a first-year player who is clearly frustrated with the struggles of his 17th-placed Roos.

However, just 11 games into his career, Horne-Francis is hoping to heed Gibbs’ words and become a star of the game.





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