There is an opening for the position of skipper for the Gold Coast Suns as Gary Ablett has abdicated the post after meeting with Coach Rodney Eade.
Ablett had requested a trade to the Geelong Cats, but the Suns nixed that idea, even though they were, or perhaps for the very reason that they wanted to see what the mix of Ablett, the Hawks’ Jaeger O’Meara and the Tigers’ Dion Prestia could produce.
The 32-year-old Ablett wanted to finish out his career with the Cats, but his success and abilities over his past five-six seasons with the Suns was too great to allow the Suns to consider parting ways.
In a fashion that reminds one of LeBron James, Ablett requested and was granted an extra week away from the club prior to returning for pre-season training, something that did not sit all that well with other members of the Suns playing group.
Ablett’s reason for stepping down as skipper is ostensibly to permit him to focus on his fitness. He says that there are other players ready to assume the mantle of the captaincy, players who rose to the fore when Ablett was injured and unable to play during 2016.
Even though the captaincy of an AFL team is mainly a ceremonial designation, Ablett’s desire to play elsewhere and to step down as an outcome of not having his wish granted cannot help but supply the Suns with an unneeded distraction, although it is hard to imagine anything more distracting than last year’s 15th position on the ladder.