Along with Gary Ablett himself, his former coach Mark Thompson, who led the Cats to premierships in 2007 and 2009, would like to see Ablett finish his career in Geelong.
Ablett is just one game shy of the 300-game milestone, which he will realise when the Cats play the St. Kilda Saints in round 14.
Ablett is homesick for Geelong and more than a few think it is fitting that he call time with the Cats. He would need to play just eight for them to bring his total to 200 games.
The Gold Coast Suns currently have the services of Ablett, and even though the two-time Brownlow winner, at 33, is getting a bit long in the tooth, he still plays with the legs of a 19-year-old and could potentially hit the 400-game mark, so the Suns might be loath to part with him, and the business side of the game might make the Cats reluctant to sacrifice too much for the sake of nostalgia and loyalty.
Ablett, as all players who have managed to get to 300 games, has been fortunate on the injury score and he deserves a lot of credit for taking care of his body over the course of 16 and a half seasons in the AFL.
Ablett came to the Cats in the 2001 draft as a father – son selection. He initially played as a small forward with the Geelong Falcons, sporting a full head of hair, eventually moving to the middle with the Cats and thereafter becoming one of the AFL’s best midfielders.
Certainly, one of Ablett’s greatest accomplishments was/is emerging from the shadow of his famous father, Gary Ablett, Sr.
Many professional athletes have suffered in attempting to follow in the footsteps of a famous father, succumbing to the inevitable comparisons, but Gary Ablett, Jr., despite that target on his back, has acquitted himself admirably, regardless of where he is playing when his time comes to hang up the boots.