A fit and focused Gary Ablett heads into his 14th AFL season with one thing on his mind – delivering premiership glory to his Gold Coast Suns.
Ablett, 30, has been given the green light to play against Melbourne on Saturday at the MCG despite not having a competitive match in the pre-season as he recovered from a shoulder reconstruction.
The five-time AFL Players’ MVP told AFLPlayers.com.au that he’s as determined as ever for team success in 2015.
“The thing that motivates me now is the opportunity to win a premiership with this group of players. I am a really driven and competitive person and I want to share that success with my teammates here at the Suns. I was lucky enough to win two premierships at Geelong and I want this group of guys to experience that. And I want it again as well.” – gary ablett
“The thing that motivates me now is the opportunity to win a premiership with this group of players,” he said.
“I am a really driven and competitive person and I want to share that success with my teammates here at the Suns.
“I was lucky enough to win two premierships at Geelong and I want this group of guys to experience that. And I want it again as well.
“There’s a lot of hard work that goes in to being an AFL player – the training, the sacrifice, the hard work – but the reward is incredible.
“Footy is still a passion. I love the game. I love getting out on game day and playing footy.
“You can’t explain that feeling you get when you are out there with your teammates playing the best game in the world.”
Ablett played 192 games with Geelong before he made the move north to the Suns in 2011.
And he told AFLPlayers.com.au that there’s one important factor that puts his new home ahead of his old.
“The biggest difference is I used to wear three pairs of leggings, three long-sleeve tops, a beanie, and totally rug up just to get out and train,” Ablett said.
“The players would wait until the last possible moment before we would get out on the track in Geelong because it was so cold.
“Now, up here, the boys are out in the sun 10-15 minutes before we start the session.
“It’s probably what I needed at my age as well.”
Ablett’s Geelong days, his career so far at the Suns, and his childhood filled with footy and following his famous father around the halls of Kardinia Park all feature in a Virgin Australia video of his life in the game.
The point-of-view video covers all the milestones and moments of a fine career.
“There’s some footage in there of me and my brother, Nathan, playing footy in the backyard,” Ablett said.
“That’s where my love for the game started. Watching dad play, being in the rooms, then heading home and pretending to be the Geelong players as we played until it was dark outside.
“I played as dad in the backyard most of the time. But I loved all the Cats players. I was Billy Brownless sometimes, Liam Pickering, Kenny Hinkley.”
Ablett, however, is not using the to reflect on a job well done. He will wait until his career is over for that.
“There’s still a couple of chapters left hopefully. Virgin Australia might have to make a sequel to this one.”