The 2017 AFL season may be over, but the hype around the AFL is far from over, with the trade period now in full swing. Former St Kilda and North Melbourne champion Nick Dal Santo, recently commented that Gold Coast player Gary Ablett is still among the top ten best players in the league.
This is despite his age and the fact that he’s well beyond his prime. Dal Santo went on to state that he believes the 33-year-old will retire if he doesn’t get his desired move to Geelong. Ablett has requested a trade back home to the Carts for family reasons, despite one year remaining on his contract with the Suns. The Suns have vowed to play hard ball with the Cats in any possible deal.
Dal Santo describes Ablett as a “freak” because of his rare talent despite approaching the tail-end of his career. The 2001 No.13 Draft Pick then concluded his statement by forecasting that Ablett still has two to three more years to play in the AFL. But the surprising thing here is that Dal Santo also pointed out the likelihood of Ablett’s retirement. This is if he doesn’t get what he wanted, which is to get traded to the Cats.
What do the numbers say?
Despite Ablett’s solid season, Gold Coast struggled to make any impact in 2017, with the expansion club finishing the season second-bottom with just six wins for the year.
The 33-year-old’s 2017 average of 19 kicks, 14 handballs, and 33 disposals shows he still has plenty of football left in him should be make a return to the Cats despite his advancing years.
Ablett was named Club Champion of the Suns, finishing 20 votes ahead of David Swallow despite missing nine matches this season.
Looking into the Future
With Geelong at odds of 10.0 to win the 2018 AFL Premiership, Ablett knows that at this age he will surely have a stronger chance of winning a third career premiership by making the move back to Kardinia Park.
The Suns are ranked as the least favourites to win the 2018 Premiership according to the best online free bets in Australia alongside North Melbourne and Brisbane.
Geelong are ranked as slight outsiders to lift the premiership trophy in 2018. 2017 premiers Richmond are ranked slightly ahead of the Cats at 7.0. Adelaide will be looking to go one better next season and are currently sitting at odds of 5.0.
There’s no doubt Ablett still has the capacity to continue his distinguished career, but it now seems only a trade back to the Cats will keep him in the AFL in 2018.
Will the Cats be able to strike a deal with the Suns? It all remains to be seen…