Molly-Rose Gibbs - 100 Games

On Sunday, the 30th of April, 2023, Molly-Rose Gibbs played her 100th game of Australian Rules Football, wearing the famed blue and white hoops of the Lane Cove Cats against the East Sydney Bulldogs. It is appropriate that the milestone was achieved at Trumper Oval.

If you are not a cricket nerd, shame on you. Victor Trumper played for Australia at the dawn of the 20th century and is generally recognised as one of the all time greats. One of his opponents wrote of him, "No one ever played so naturally. Batting seemed just part of himself, and he was as modest as he was magnificent."

Some choose the great game of Aussie Rules, others have it thrust upon them and Molly belongs to the latter. Conscripted to assist her mum at the Goddard Oval canteen as a toddler, she watched from the sideline as her older brothers played the game and in the back yard, learnt to give as good as she got. Daily kicking competitions fostered the booming kick we have all ooh'd and ahh'd over and older brothers fostered the tackle breaking runs we have cheered. It is no wonder that playing naturally, is what Molly does.

With a brand new pair of pink boots Molly played her first game with the Concord Giants' U12YGs as a 10 year old. Over the years to come she would play multiple games on weekends, "playing up" to help the numbers on the older teams. As she progressed through the Giants, Canada Bay Cannons and Normo teams she established herself as a tenacious half forward and scrappy goal sneak who relentlessly gathers the ball in a pack and has an uncanny ability to find the space between the big posts. It is fair to say that she kicks like a girl, but when the girl she kicks like is Tayla Harris, that's a damn fine thing.

In 2022, with the Cannons unable to muster a team, Molly joined the Cats. The Cats' cluster quickly noticed Molly's footy skills, but were even more impressed with the character she bought to the club. Beyond her passion for footy is her ability to make connections and friendships and to bring others along with her. Her leadership skills shine, so much so, that this year she was elected by her team mates and coaches as co-captain of the inaugural U18YGs. Not bad for a newbie.

It is leadership that she shows across all clubs. An umpire for many years and a Level 1 qualified coach, she has coached the Cannons U12/14 YGs team for the last three years. No surprise they currently sit atop the ladder. The odd rep game for Combined Independent Schools and, because she has nothing better to do, the Cannons' Youth Girls' representative on the St Luke's Oval redevelopment project.

No-one really knows how many games Molly has played, frankly our record keeping can't keep up, but the record book says 100 and so it shall be. There is no secret, however, why Molly is welcomed wherever she goes in the footy landscape - she is ultimately team first. When one of those mighty kicks sails between the posts, the celebration is not of self, but of team.

She is as modest as she is magnificent.

Congratulations Molly-Rose on 100 games of Aussie Rules.