K rock Football

Warriors unsure on Ablett

Nathan Ablett salutes the crowd following Modewarre’s premiership win over Barwon Heads in 2018. (krockfootball.com.au Image/Marcel Berens)

MODEWARRE isn’t banking on Nathan Ablett being part of its plans for 2021.

The Geelong premiership player, who was part of the Warriors’ drought-breaking 2018 flag, hasn’t been sighted at Community Bank Oval this pre-season.

Coach Chris Hickey says the 35-year-old is undecided on whether he’ll go around again.

“I did speak to him… probably a week or two ago,” Hickey revealed to K rock Football’s The Coaches Catch-up.

“I would say probably “no”, at this stage. That’s the feel I get, and I’m open and honest about that.

“And I don’t think Nathan would mind; he’s just not sure whether he wants to play or not, and that’s a decision he needs to make.

“I know he’s still tossing up the idea (of playing). Once cricket finished, that might completely change and turn around.

Hickey says, as it is for retired duo Mitch Fisher and Seamus Orr, the door remains open for Ablett if he chooses to play.

“He’s 6’4″-6’5″ (193-195cm, could probably play as a mid, can play tall back, can ruck, can play forward – they don’t grow on trees,” Hickey said.

“If he changes his mind, we’d love him back.

“And the boys have been asking about him; he’s a bit of a cult figure there.

“He’s very quiet, unassuming, but he’s just got this aura about him – the boys get drawn to him.

“They want him to come back and have a kick, but the ball’s in Nathan’s court there.”

Hickey concedes if Ablett does choose not to play, the odds of older brother Gary returning to where his football journey started will further lengthen.

“Last time I did speak to Nathan, I did jokingly say, “well, you know that if you don’t play, Gary’s no chance”,” he said.

“Nathan did say his (Gary’s) shoulder (injured in last year’s AFL grand final) was pretty bad. The scenes were quite sad, I think, at the end of the game – he couldn’t even hold his son.

“That’s how bad his shoulder was, and I think we’ve all got to respect that.

“The dream would be unbelievable, and it would be great for the club, but Gary’s got a life post-AFL professional football, and he’s got a family to look after.

“So, I think we let sleeping dogs lie there at the moment, and if by some sort of miracle his shoulder was feeling good enough to play, of course, it would be a fantastic opportunity.

“Not just for the club, I think it would be great for the region.”

Twitter: @tom_king79