Critics won’t change Ablett plan: Suns
Sherrin magnet Gary Ablett won’t be told to change his ways despite Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna agreeing with critics that his captain’s dominance may stifle the development of junior teammates.
There was initial praise for Ablett’s AFL record haul of 53 disposals against Collingwood last round.
However, the likes of ex-Magpies premiership-winning skipper Tony Shaw have slammed the Suns’ game plan, saying youngsters will learn nothing from simply providing Ablett the ball.
McKenna said he could understand their view but made no apologies for a rampant Ablett – and didn’t want anything to change against St Kilda at Metricon Stadium on Saturday.
“I agree with them because if Gaz gets 30 that allows 23 possessions to go to some other footballer,” he said on Friday.
“It would stifle one person’s development because he (Ablett) is in the middle so someone else can’t be there.
“But I don’t think it is massive in the scheme of things.
“I am not going to alter the way Gary plays.
“He’s great for the group. His ability to lead and coach out there is fantastic.”
And McKenna dismissed the suggestion that there was a “give it to Gaz” rule at the club.
“When you have a player of his standing who works as hard as Gary does, and if he is in the right position that is certainly one rule in this football club – give it (to Ablett),” he said.
“But we do not go out of our way to give it to Gary.
“If he did not work hard I guarantee you he would not have got 53 on the weekend.”
McKenna could feel for Ablett, who was working overtime to try to end the Suns’ run of 17 straight losses – including 10 this year.
“I am sure he wrestles with our record of 0-10 (and thinks) that he needs to be around the football and then we have a better chance of winning the game,” McKenna said.
They may have thrashed the Suns by 92 points the last time they met in round two but Saints coach Scott Watters was taking nothing for granted after being beaten by Richmond last Friday night in a round of upsets.
“You can’t take anything for granted in this competition this year,” he said.
“I think we’ll see those topsy-turvy sort of results probably for the rest of the year so you just have to make sure that you front up each week with really great effort and remain consistent.”© AAP 2013