Ablett’s homecoming finally becomes a reality

Source: AFL Banter via Facebook.

It has been one of the most talked about deals in recent times and it is now finally official – next season Gary Ablett will be running out for the Geelong Cats once again. The dynamic midfielder is heading back to where it all began before signing a multi-million dollar deal that took the player north to join the Gold Coast Suns back in 2011.

After the normal season ended earlier this year, the eight-time All Australian made it quite clear to the Suns’ upper management that he wished to make the move back home to Victoria so  could spend more time with his family. He even threatened to retire if the two clubs couldn’t work out an agreement, even though he still had one year remaining on his contract with Gold Coast.

Luckily for all parties involved though, an agreement was reached and the deal was finalised on deadline day of the AFL trade period with just ten minutes to spare. Although it was exactly what the dual Brownlow Medalist was hoping for, it came at a horrible time for the family, after they received news that Gary’s sister Natasha had tragically passed away just days earlier.

The veteran midfielder said that it had been an emotional roller coaster of a week, but knowing that he will be returning home had brought him and his family a little joy in what has been a difficult and painful time. The two-time premiership winner said he was excited about running back out for the Cats and into the stadium where it all began back in 2002.

Source: Joel Selwood’s Soldiers via Facebook.

Geelong supporters will be eager to see what the new lineup will look like now, with Ablett getting the chance to start alongside Patrick Dangerfield and Joel Selwood, in what will arguably be the most dangerous midfield in the competition. Ablett is the kind of player that can help push the side forward and will be an instrumental part of the team’s attacking style footy.

The cats have been just outside the premiership window of late, with consecutive preliminary final losses. With this new addition to the squad, they are already looking like a team that can really make a push for the premiership, and according to bet365, the latest AFL odds have them at 11.00 to become minor premiers, just behind last season’s Grand Final winners, Richmond, who are 7.50.

He may be turning 34 in May, but there’s no denying the amount of quality that the midfielder still has in him. At the end of last season he received the Club Champion of the Year Award for the Suns, as well as finishing fourth in 2017 for average Player Ratings points per game.

As compensation for Ablett’s signature, Geelong had to give Gold Coast the No.19 draft pick. In return the Cats received the No.24 pick, as well as the clubs swapping some of their future selections. Manager Stephen Wells admitted that they had given up quite a bit to bring the 33-year old home, but was extremely happy with the result and excited to see Gary back in a Geelong jersey.

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