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Gaz: I’m back for another flag

Gary Ablett sporting his new No.4 jumper at the Cattery. Picture: Alison Wynd
Gary Ablett sporting his new No.4 jumper at the Cattery. Picture: Alison Wynd

GARY Ablett wants to instil his competitive instincts into his new and young Geelong teammates as he revealed a burning desire to win another premiership before retirement.

After seven years and 110 games at Gold Coast, Ablett said the time was right to return to the Cats and be closer to family but there was also some unfinished business.

The 33-year-old has achieved almost everything in the game - two premierships with the Cats, two Brownlow Medals, six club best-and-fairests, eight All-Australian selections and five AFLPA MVPs - but after failing to play a single final with the Suns he is determined to achieve more team success.

"We play footy to win premierships and that's what I've come back for, so I'm going to be putting in the work," Ablett said.

"I play to win. Whether that's a game of table tennis with the boys in the rooms or a challenge out on the training track or gameday, I want to win.

 

Gary Ablett with Geelong’s new recruits Tim Kelly, Gryan Miers, Stewart Crameri, Lachie Fogarty, and Charlie Constable last week. Picture: Alison Wynd
Gary Ablett with Geelong’s new recruits Tim Kelly, Gryan Miers, Stewart Crameri, Lachie Fogarty, and Charlie Constable last week. Picture: Alison Wynd

 

"That was the first conversation I had with (Geelong captain Joel) Selwood when I got back to the club is how can we make this group super competitive.

"We're going to work through that over pre-season and I'm going to be running some little drills out on the training track, making sure the boys are super competitive. I truly believe that if you can get guys to be competitive in everything they do that transitions into the weekend."

Ablett also returned to pre-season training early to get to know the young players at the club.

Last week Ablett was unveiled in his new No.4 jumper with the rest of the Cats' new recruits.

Ablett said he knew leaving Geelong for Gold Coast would push him "out of my comfort zone" but playing with a young, inexperienced group at the Suns helped him to develop as a leader.

There was speculation Ablett would retire if he didn't secure his desired trade to the Cats but after several shoulder operations in recent years he said thoughts of hanging up the boots were never far from his mind.

"I reckon I've considered that about five or six times throughout my career," Ablett told RSN radio.

"It is a tough game and I'm going into my 17th pre-season now.

"Whether I have seriously considered it or not, there definitely has been times where you question why you're still doing it.

"I've obviously had a few serious injuries over the last couple of years with two shoulder reconstructions, so it is something that has crossed my mind."


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