Dare I Hope For An Ablett Return?
I remember walking into the lounge room on Wednesday 29th September 2010, after Collingwood and St Kilda had drawn the Grand Final. The Channel 7 news was on and there was my boy Gary Ablett Jnr, sitting in bright red and yellow. My heart hit the floor and a scream of denial ripped from my throat. Everyone had been debating the subject of him leaving all year, and I hadn’t wanted to believe it. But I couldn’t deny the evidence in front of me. He was no longer my Geelong boy, born to play for the mighty Cats, the son of God. I would no longer see him burst from a pack and race towards goal, deftly kicking the red Sherrin through those big white sticks. Fuck. I hated football right then. How could this happen? Money. Bloody money. That’s all it was. I rubbed my hands over my face. As harsh as it was, I knew deep inside, I would have done the same. Bloody hell. I couldn’t hate him for going. But God, I was going to miss watching him play.
The next year I was lucky enough to get tickets to the Geelong vs Gold Coast match in August, my Geelong boys’ first home game against Gary since his defection. I was sitting close to the boundary, right on the fifty metre line. Great seats. My boys were putting on a display, playing sublime football. I was enjoying every minute. Stevie J, another of my favourites, decided to give Gazza a real Stevie J welcome. The crowd as one rose to its feet and roared – at Stevie J. We were united in defending our boy Gazza. I smiled and cheered as he waved that he was okay to us. I laughed as did those around me. He was still a Geelong boy.
Now, those pesky rumours have returned, doing the rounds again. Will he? Won’t he? Gazza may be back where he belongs next year with the rest of my Geelong boys – a fairy tale ending to a truly amazing career – a girl can only hope.