Starting as a Coolangatta Junior, Sam moved to Southport Sharks to play in the AFLQ State League and was a member of the 2005 Premiership team.  He was drafted by St Kilda in 2005 at pick 33 and went on to play 208 AFL games. Representing Australia in two International Rules games, Sam was an AFL Rising Star nominee in 2008 and placed third in St Kilda’s B&F in 2010. After 13 years with the Saints, Gilbert moved to Sandringham to play in the VFL.