Gary Ablett flags intent to bask in Gold Coast Suns’ success
GARY Ablett knows what it takes to win a premiership medal.
The 30-year-old dual Brownlow medallist already has two from his time at Geelong, and is confident he can win a third some time in the next three years ... with the Gold Coast Suns.
Ablett, off contract at the end of this year, confirmed yesterday he had re-signed with the expansion club until the end of the 2018 season.
He said the development of the young players on the Suns list, and the arrival of experienced coach Rodney Eade, had convinced him to stay on the Glitter Strip.
"Rocket's obviously a fantastic coach. It didn't take long for me to know he was the right man for the job," Ablett told reporters.
"Three years is plenty. That's enough time to win a premiership and that's what I'm here to do."
As for concerns about whether his reconstructed shoulder would allow him to return to his brilliant best, the midfielder admitted he had erred by playing the first two rounds of the season, but said he did not believe he had done any long-term damage.
"I probably rushed back a little early," he said.
"The last training session before round one where I had to prove myself, I did contact work and it felt good enough, so I put my hand up to play. I probably didn't know until I got out there and there was certain movements I was really struggling with.
"The body feels good. It's just the shoulder that's restricted me from doing things that I've been able to do in previous years. I believe I can (get back to my best)."
Suns chief executive Andrew Travis said the re-signing of Ablett (pictured) capped a significant month for the club off the field.
As well as retaining its most marketable player, Gold Coast has signed two new sponsors and secured $15 million in Federal Government funding for a new training and administration base in the Metricon Stadium precinct.
Ablett said he had never really contemplated returning to Geelong to finish his career, and it's questionable how hard the Cats would have gone after him had he been interested.
The club's list is packed with a host of off-contract stars whose best football is arguably behind them.
They include Steve Johnson, Jimmy Bartel, Andrew Mackie, Mathew Stokes, James Kelly, Hamish McIntosh and Corey Enright.
Bartel, 31, is scheduled to have surgery tomorrow after tearing the medial ligament in his left knee against the Suns last Sunday. He is expected to miss at least two months.
Stokes injured his ankle in the same game and is likely to miss Sunday's clash against North Melbourne.