Gary Ablett Jr looks to be heading to a warmer place

Luke D'Anello Roar Pro

By Luke D'Anello, Luke D'Anello is a Roar Pro

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    Gary Ablett of Geelong breaks the tackle of Brent Stanton of Essendon during the AFL Round 10 match between the Essendon Bombers and the Geelong Cats at the Docklands Stadium. GSP Images

    The pieces of the jigsaw seem to falling into their perfect positions, and each day it seems more likely that Geelong’s Gary Ablett Jr will move to the AFL’s new Gold Coast team. Consider this: his father, Gary Ablett Sr, one of the greatest players of all time, has moved to the Gold Coast.

    His brother, Nathan, has also signed with the new team.

    In addition to this, it was reported over the weekend that Ablett Sr had split from his girlfriend Lauren Phillips. As personal an issue as that is, it has added fuel to the fire.

    The Gold Coast can also offer Ablett more money than he could get at Geelong under the current salary cap conditions. A multi-million dollar deal over, say, five years is surely an offer too good to refuse.

    As the best player in the competition, he demands plenty.

    Tony Lockett and Wayne Carey both left their clubs – albeit for different reasons – as champions of the AFL. Ablett Jr, currently, is a champion player.

    But has he achieved what he can at Geelong? And is the offer from the Gold Coast simply too tempting to refuse.

    Ablett Jr has two premiership medals, a Brownlow Medal and two best-and-fairest awards. He has been named in the All-Australian team the past three years.

    In the eyes of the players, he has been the competition’s pre-eminent player for the past three seasons – winning the AFLPA Leigh Matthews Trophy.

    Ablett Jr is the only player to win the award three times since it began in 1982. Given the fact it is voted on by his peers, it is an achievement which places him up there with the very best.

    In the view of many, he was the best player on the ground in his team’s 2008 Grand Final loss to Hawthorn. His list of awards is long, and he will only add to it.

    When Nathan and Gary Jr played in Geelong’s premiership-winning side of 2007, in front of Gary Sr in the stands, it was a family affair. We though both were destined to be at Geelong for an extended period.

    Then Nathan lost interest in football, while Gary Jr has to weigh up whether to finish his career as a one club player.

    We all know he loves Geelong. That won’t change if he leaves.

    But if your father and brother moved interstate and you, as a champion footballer, were offered a large sum from a team based in that state, what would you do?

    For now, the Geelong champion will focus on helping the Cats to a third flag in four years in 2010.

    He might also view that as an appropriate end to a stunning career at Geelong.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • February 6th 2010 @ 7:58am
      Mr Real Australian it's called Football Man formerly known as Kurt said | February 6th 2010 @ 7:58am | ! Report

      Hmmm, very interesting. I must admit I didn’t give much credence the thought Gary jnr would head to the GC, assuming he was happily settled in Geelong for the rest of his career. But you do make an interesting case Luke. For my money he’ll still stay though, but maybe it’ll be a close run thing.

    • February 6th 2010 @ 8:59am
      Matthew Stephen said | February 6th 2010 @ 8:59am | ! Report

      Good article Luke. You raise some very good points that I think do lead to the conclusion that he could well be the GC captain in their debut season. I hope he stays in Geelong and your right he does love it but that may not be enough.

    • February 6th 2010 @ 9:39am
      Chris K said | February 6th 2010 @ 9:39am | ! Report

      The only thing he has to lose is his reputation. If he were to move he would be seen as a traitor and also greedy. However if he decided to move to Western Sydney it would look like he moved because it was a challenge.

    • February 6th 2010 @ 9:52am
      Sven man said | February 6th 2010 @ 9:52am | ! Report

      A tough decision either way. I personally dont think he’ll go, however it wouldnt surprise he if he did nor could I blame him. But I’m not A Geelong surporter. What sort of compensation would Geelong recieve if he did decide to leave?

    • February 6th 2010 @ 10:06am
      Tifosi said | February 6th 2010 @ 10:06am | ! Report

      He will go, not that he probably wants to, but The AFL need a “marquee” type player to promote the team.

      The AFL will give him enough of an incentive.

    • February 6th 2010 @ 10:16am
      Forgetmenot said | February 6th 2010 @ 10:16am | ! Report

      The difference with Ablett though, is that Geelong is hisfamily. He would have grown up being told stories about his fathers exploits by people, and watched his dad play.
      As a Geelong fan i would be devastated if he were to move.

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