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.


About Tracey Drayton

TR Drayton lives in the western suburbs of Melton. She is a passionate Geelong supporter, who attends as many games as she can. TR Drayton is a writer who is working on a novel as well as various short stories. She has experienced success in several writing competitions.


  1. Cat from the Country says

    Not sure an aging, injury’prone player is a good one for a club to take on board.
    How much would the Club have to pay him?
    Could Wellsy find youngsters who could play longer for us and become champions.
    I prefer to remember Garry as he was when he played for us. I would be distressed if je came back and ended his career broken down

  2. Dennis Gedling says

    It will make the club look massive hypocrites if they did after other players of his ilk were moved on. While romantic, sentimental and nice as it would be nice guys finish last and we’ve moved on as a club. I’m more excited about Parfitt’s effort on Saturday and Menzel’s heroics against all odds rather than hearing about Gaz Jnr wanting to come home. Hell, we moved on as a club when Scott and Lingy lifted the cup 1 year and two days later after that press conference.

    If he’s so desperate to make an impact in Geelong and put on the hoops again maybe he plays VFL and is an ambassador or part of the footy department at the club. As a player with the seniors? No way.

  3. The toe poke. Ablett grabs it, bursts through the middle of the G, evading shadows, eyes bulging, straining every muscle and nerve, running like a gazelle into Grand Final immortality. Long kick, Varcoe, Chappppyyyyy!!!!

    That’s how I wanted to remember Gazza.

  4. Kevin Drum says

    My tipping Gazza for the Cats in 2018.It is even rumoured that he is growing some hair (everywhere) to make Geelong supporters believe he never really left. I also hear that Paul Chapman, Stevie Johnson and Jimmy Bartel (aka Edward Kelly) have re-listed as mature rookies to get a kick back at Kardinia Park.

  5. Hi TR, Great to have you with us. I trust your writers’ group at Melton is going well. Hope Matthew is looking after you! As for G. Ablett, I’d love to see what he’s got left to give, but I doubt that will happen at Geelong. Just a hunch. JTH

  6. Paul Spinks says

    I agree with Dennis – the club would appear contradictory indeed. Personally I never wanted Paul, Steve, Kel & Co to play for other teams so am happy for Gary to be back in the fold. He’s possibly left it too late playing-wise, however.

Leave a Comment