K rock Football

Abbott a Cat again

Ryan Abbott in action for Geelong’s VFL team in 2019. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

CONTENT to have concluded his AFL career his terms, Ryan Abbott is keen to give back to those who helped on his journey to the big time.

The former Geelong and St Kilda ruck, who was confirmed as returning to GFL club Grovedale in early November, has also signed with the Cats’ second-tier team for 2021.

“When I made the decision to come back (to Geelong) and move on from the professional side of football, I still felt like I could play some good footy,” Abbott told krockfootball.com.au.

“When ‘Cheesy’ (second-tier coach Shane O’Bree) reached out to me a couple of weeks after finishing up, I thought it would be a really good fit.

“And I was really keen to be involved in with the club, and it’s a club that has given me a lot of opportunities over my football journey.

“There’s an opportunity to be part of a team that might lead a really young group.”

Abbott, who played AFL five matches in three seasons with the Cats before playing a single game for the Saints in 2020, will also spend plenty of time at Burdoo Reserve, whether or not he’s playing with the Tigers.

“Especially with the changes that are happening at the VFL, it’s going to allow me to have that choice,” he said.

“We’re going to train at Geelong only once a week, and we’re going to lean on our local clubs quite a lot during the year, and train there once a week as well.

“It’s going to be a really good opportunity where I can find a balance and contribute to both clubs, and hopefully play a lot of games for both clubs.”

Recorded as delisted by St Kilda, Abbott still had one-year to run on a two-year deal.

The 29-year-old says he enjoyed his time with the Saints but was keen to start the next phase of his life.

Abbott is studying finance and is about to start work with a bank.

“The decision really was, “what am I going to get out of another year of maybe battling away the same sort of position I’m in now?” he said.

“Or is that time better spent in my studies or trying to further my development outside of footy?”. I felt it was probably the best way to go.

“And a piece of that is coming back to support my partner in her professional development and being there to support what she wants to do rather than putting myself first as I have over the last 4-5 years.”

MEANWHILE, former Geelong forward James Parsons and Newtown & Chilwell young gun Alex Cincotta have been confirmed among eight signings by Carlton as it returns to second-tier football for the first time in 20 years in 2021.

The Blues will be coached by former Cats VFL assistant and 2017 Geelong Falcons premiership coach Dan O’Keefe.

Parsons played 35 AFL games for Geelong before being delisted at the end this year.

Cincotta, who revealed he was joining the Blues last month, spent a season on Geelong’s VFL list without playing a game.

Twitter: @tom_king79