CARLTON midfielder Bryce Gibbs has opened up about his failed bid to move home to South Australia, questioning why Adelaide dropped the bombshell news of his request for a trade so publicly.
As the opening day of the NAB AFL Trade Period came to a close at Etihad Stadium, Crows list manager Justin Reid emerged from talks to brazenly put Gibbs' request into the public domain.
"I don't know why they wanted to do that, I was unaware that was going to happen," Gibbs told Fairfax Media.
"Whether it worked in their favour or not, I'm not sure. But it was going to come out eventually."
Gibbs, 27, insisted Carlton was not blindsided, and he had put all his cards on the table the week before, after 12 months of discussions with his partner Lauren.
The pair has an 18-month-old son, Charlie.
"I feel sorry for Lauren," Gibbs said.
"She was copping all sorts of stick — [the suggestion] that she couldn't handle being a young mum, when actually, she's been a star and handled it really well.
"It's probably the first time I've seen her a bit edgy and wanting to bite back at a few things on social media, usually she's pretty calm and collected.
"Something I need to get across is that this was a family decision, but probably pushed more so by me than it was her.
"It wasn't like we just woke up in trade period and said, 'We want to get out of here'. It was a conversation we'd had for over a year.
"It was a couple of reasons. A bit to do with family. We've got a young one at home, and as all families know, that can be pretty testing at times.
"I've got a few things going on in my life that I'm going through as well, so we just thought for where we are right now as a family, that we wanted to be around close family and friends, and if a trade happened, we thought that was the best move for us as a family right now.
"They're just a few personal things that I was going through and working through. Everything's going to be OK, but we just thought for this next time of our life, we wanted to be around immediate family."
When the Crows couldn't come up with an offer to satisfy the Blues, Gibbs was forced to stay where he is.
"I will stress, this was not a football decision at all. And I think that's why the transition coming back to the club has been so smooth," he said.
"Really, it's been easy.
"Through the whole process, there's been open and honest dialogue from me to the club and from the club back, and when it's like that, everyone's on the same page, and whatever it comes to, both parties know exactly what's going on and how to handle it, everyone's happy.
"When it came to me staying, there were phone calls straight away, catch-ups, and it was, 'Righto, back to business as usual'."
Gibbs remains contracted to Carlton until the end of 2019.