Round 2 – GWS v Gold Coast: My thoughts on Gary Ablett


Gary Ablett has been talked about a lot in the footy media this week.

Ablett showed frustration in the post game after the Suns’ 102 loss to GWS. It affects his club much, but I understand how he felt.

Here I am analysing what causes his frustrations even if some causes are what I disagree with how he feels.


Talents and Positions

Ablett has inheritance talents from his Dad, Gary Ablett Snr. He is a great midfielder who handles the ball well. His coach Rodney Eade plays Ablett in the half forward which frustrates him. If his talents and skills cannot be used fully in the position, I totally understand his frustration.


I have same issues as at my recent work at a ryokan in Kyoto, I had to do tasks not related to my English skills or abilities to communicate with western guests. Instead I had to do more administrations and cleaning and felt underachievement and not appreciated of my talents or skills or strengths. And such perceptions are seen at many job interviews in Japan too. I believe my talents and skills blossom well in the western world.


In Japan, baseball players’ strengths and talents are often killed by their managers by the sake of the priority to win. But these game plans are boring and reasons why I dislike Japanese baseball now.


Ablett playing the half forward can be similar to these baseball players’ orders.


On the other hand, there are players who can play multiple positions. Nick Riewoldt is a forward taking many great marks and kicking goals. Classic chest marks reflect his talents and skills. However he is playing at centre wing for the club allowing them to develop young talented forwards such as McCartin, Membrey and Bruce.


There is no just one answer for all footballers. Some players are skilled and talented in one particular position while others can be flexible with two or more positions.


Position(s) should be given reasonably reflected on players’ talents and skills.


Relying much on one player

Ablett has carried on everything since Suns’ born to their infant years. Gold Coast were more likely to form winning culture with his skills rather than giving out a few years to develop talented young players and to blossom.


It seemed an instant solution, but turned the opposite. Once they got nearly top eight, but missed because of Ablett’s shoulder injury. Then his injury showed that they couldn’t win without him.


Relying on one person puts a lot of pressure and is very stressful. I understand how he feels from my recent experiences at work. I was feeling restless at the time.


Ablett would know how much Gold Coast expected him before leaving Geelong. But it would unpredictable for many talented young players being traded to other clubs. Then he has been overloaded and got stressed and frustrated.



The same as reliance on him, Ablett would not think he would get homesick when being traded to Gold Coast. Or has he got contagious from young players who have got homesick to Melbourne?


Reject on his request being traded back to Geelong makes him frustrated. I understand how he feels, as many tough circumstances had hit in Japan before I got a job on Wednesday evening, after I had had to leave the UK unexpectedly.


He would feel “I’m supposed to play for Geelong now” while I am supposed to be in York. Now our process to be together again goes ahead as I got a job, will Ablett secure a good deal at the end of the season?


Loyalty or Money

Ablett has crossed to Gold Coast for money. His move was the same as what Brendon Goddard has done from St Kilda to Essendon.


Some footy diehards have commented on Facebook saying Ablett had such feelings because he chased money. He could have had been loyal to Geelong where his father also played for and loved Geelong as the city.


On the other hand, Nick Riewoldt has strong loyalty to St Kilda. He just believes his Saints would win the flag and never considers switching to another club. Bob Murphy is the loyal Bulldog, the same as Saint Nick. Then they never feel frustrated like Ablett does.


And I admire Lenny Hayes, Stephen Milne and Justin Koschitzke for being loyal Saints as well as is Leigh Montagna.



It’s the same as loyalty or money. Goddard chased another opportunity to win the premiership and Ablett has got a mission to bring the baby club a flag.

When their chases failed, they got frustrated as have no loyalty to any club. Although Essendon bounce back well in the 2017 season.

Hayes, Milne and Koschitzke were unable to win the flag while they were playing, but I guess were fulfilled and proud of Saints as well as gained strong bonds and friendships.

Riewoldt and Montagna are so motivated and play hard trying to see them winning the flag.



“If you are unhappy at work, seek another job,” my tutor at a tertiary institute in Auckland told us while undertaking a hotel reception operations and services course in 2005.


She is right. If Ablett is unhappy at Gold Coast, ask them to trade him to somewhere else.


But I have to admit it will be hard to offer him a deal because he is nearly 33 and has no loyalty, even if he is a great player in midfield.


I don’t think Geelong will get him back because their favourite son Jimmy Bartel retired last season and have got Patrick Dangerfield.


Sorry Gaz, your time seems over at AFL. Seek VFL or local footy club. All the best, mate.

About Yoshihiro Imagawa

Love, passion and pride are seen on the footy that is the biggest part of my life. 1. St Kilda Club member: I am a passionate and crazy Sainter. Just hope we will win the second flag soon, especially after Dogs and Tigers having ended long premiership draughts. 2. The Osaka Dingoes Player and Public Relations Officer: Player number 44 that I chose to honour Stephen Milne with my wish being like a small forward like him. Lenny Hayes' hardworking attitudes are adopted on my trainings and practices. Nick Riewoldt's great plays are in my player audiobook too. 3. Writing: Here on the Almanac and also on the World Footy News. My skills utilise on great footy websites.


  1. Swans. perfect for him. he can win a comp. they can afford him. won’t have to run far. play as small and pinchin the mle.

  2. Thanks Peter for your nice point of view I couldn’t see. I think Sydney is more defensive so they have a position available in midfield? They need to offer something easing his homesickness if they want Ablett.



  3. Earl O'Neill says

    Yoshi, the last line is brilliant!
    I wouldn’t compare him to Brendon, who is still playing well, Gaz was never a suitable captain, esp in a startup team. Gold Coast is a graveyard for football clubs and the Suns got it wrong at every step.

  4. G’day Earl,

    Thanks for your comment and compliment!

    I just mentioned Goddard as another example of chasing money and potential premiership, the same as are doing Gaz.

    He is not a good captain for the baby club, I agree with you.

    Gold Coast have been established and their plans to develop are wrong. They should have never established and instead Tasmania should have their own footy club. Big Andy D made a huge mistake.

    Or Fitzroy should have stayed in the competition.



  5. Good onya Yoshi. I hope your Saints lift, as i considered them a good chance for the 8. Playing the Brisbane Bears this weekend should give them 4 points and a big percentage boost.

    Gary Ablett, is the name of the best father son combination in footy history. Both champions, at their peaks easily the best players of their era, the father remains the best i’ve ever seen. However for the younger it’s time to hang up the boots.

    Too many injuries, apparent disinterest in playing for a poorly run, cellar dwelling club, the writing is on the wall. He’s won two Brownlows, played in two flags, at his peak he was the best player in the league, but that’s all past tense. It’s like boxers, you only get remembered by your last fight, and the current Gary Ablett is not the player he was, nor will he ever be again. Geelong has off loaded many champions, Kelly, Bartel, Johnson, etc on the basis they are too old, time to move on. In that context how/why would they bring Ablett back ?

    Gary Ablett has had a great career,now it’s time to hang up the boots. Let’s remember for his greatness, not what he’s ended up.


  6. A few things here Gold Coast had just lost OMeara and Prestia they had no option but to hold him to his contact.Gary Ablett is on a million plus per year of which a lot of that is re marketing another reason why he couldn’t be allowed to just walk.We also have to remember the days of a half forward flanker ars gone in reality they ars another midfielder,Lynch at the Crows is a good example he often runs further in a game than any Crows midfielder in respect,Yoshi your own life situation is different Kerr having a crack at your dream! Good luck

  7. He should be in Geelong now while I am supposed to be in York. Yoshi, you’ve made my day. But if we were all where we wanted to be Beyonce would be flat as a pancake.

  8. G’day Glen and Rulebook,

    Thanks for your comments and good wishes for my own life!

    Glen – You made good points! Sadly his peak has been gone and it’s hard for him to bounce back and get motivated again. Also Geelong’s recently changing player list trading and letting veterans to go means there is no room for Ablett. And Ablett himself admits it would be his last season in 2017. Sadly he is likely to end his career. By the way his father’s big moments are filmed and played on AFL website, App and Facebook page.

    Rulebook – You showed another good point why Ablett can’t go anywhere. Yes marketing. Such a baby club needs a big and famous name to establish a big brand, especially in the rugby dominated state. Losing O’Meara and Prestia leaves big impacts in the club. Probably their big reliance on Ablett brought young talented players to less motivation and unfulfilled? I thank Suns to trade Tom Hickey and Maverick Weller to St Kilda. As for his running skills, I think Leigh Montagna runs better than Ablett even Joey is older than Gaz.



  9. Haha ajc, at least Beyoncé found her great talents in music. You are right if she prefers somewhere to live and it doesn’t offer her to see her brilliant talents. For me, my girlfriend is British national and lives in York. I love her so much. Plus people are so nice there, including her family and friends. And I believe my talents, skills, strengths and attitudes blossom more than here in Kyoto. So we are working out hard together to seek great options so that I can be together with her in York.

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