This season will be remembered for more than just one reason for Woonona Sharks Football Club stalwart Chris Gibson. Not only is he part of the clubs 130th Year Anniversary celebration season, he becomes the second player in the recent known history of the club to chalk up 300 senior club games when he takes the field against South Coast United this weekend.
The hard working, passionate defender made his senior club debut in 2007 after graduating from his younger years as a Woonona junior. At the time in 2007, the fresh faced 16-year-old made his senior club debut against Fernhill on the 28th March. Gibson was an integral part of that team as they went on later that year to win the league, only to be eliminated in the semi-finals.
Ironically, in 2010 also against Fernhill, he made his first-grade debut off the substitute bench with the match finishing in a one all draw.
Fast forward to today. Chris has already spent a lifetime of football at Woonona. 13 long seasons with the senior club along with all his younger years with the junior club. 300 Club Senior games – a one only club player (thus far). The 29-year-old is quickly chasing down the record set by veteran Cameron Banks in 2017 of 325 games.
Against South Coast United this weekend, the Woonona Sharks will recognise him for his contribution to the club/game as he joins an elite milestone in the history of the club when he leads out the first-grade side onto Ocean Park.
Over the 13 seasons Chris has won many individual club awards including some notable achievements, ie. Most Improved Player (2008), First Grade Best and Fairest Player (2015), First Grade Player’s Player (2016, 2017) plus he has captained the club in all grades.
“Woonona Football Club to me is like my extended family. It has been a massive part of my life and I have made some life-long friends which include not only the playing group but also committee members alike.” Gibson said.
“The club has worked hard (especially the last few years) to change the way people perceive Woonona FC. We want this club to be successful and be in the top 5 of the Premier League year in, year out. We are headed in the right direction and results this year are proof of that.”
“Winning the 2008 Youth Grade Grand Final would have to be up there as my most memorable moment thus far. This was my first Grand Final win with the club and at the time I was playing with a lot of friends I went through juniors with.”
“Over my football career to date, the Picton Rangers away would have to be the toughest opponents to face. There is nothing worse than travelling to Picton late in the season when it is freezing cold. Then to throw in the local rivalry between Bulli and Woonona is a favourite fixture every year.” Gibson recalled.
The Woonona Football family would like to acknowledge and thank Chris for his contribution to the club and the game of football thus far. The Sharks currently sit in 5th place with two competition rounds remaining.