Before I go too far into this article let me make one thing clear I am a Geelong supporter who has grown up watching the Ablett’s running around in the blue and white hoops for many years. However I also understand that as good as Ablett is, he is a midfield player who can be replaced. An Ablett defection may be the blessing in disguise that Geelong will need in 3 years time.
The verdict on the future of the number 29 for the Cats is still up in the air and is something I do not really wish to dwell on. If he stays, fantastic! But if he goes well then he goes. It will be disappointing, but Geelong supporters must look to the positives. The positive side is the new compensation that will be received by the cubs if an un-contracted player is to leave for either the Gold Coast or GWS.
Previously the clubs were in line to receive one draft choice for the loss of player no matter what his standing in the game. Now, however this has been revised so that if a deemed ‘top echelon’ player is recruited, the club will receive two first round draft choices. The first draft choice is taken directly after the clubs first selection in the draft while the second is placed at the midpoint of round one, after those clubs who missed the finals have their picks.
So essentially Geelong will have 3 first round draft choices available to them in the coming years given that they will (more than likely) at some stage begin to drop off. It is during the next rebuilding phase that Geelong can use these picks and build a stronger list.
Ablett is great but he is also an ageing player, he is currently 26 and in the prime of his football career. He will continue to be a good player but his superstar years are now and for maybe two more years, then he becomes a great player. He is on the verge of being one of the best players the club has had but if he leaves, he will be remembered for different things.
But legacy for Geelong could become something that lasts far into the future. The two first round draft picks could be used as trade options or to rebuild a list that can see the Cats at the top again and in less time than it would usually take. A new generation of 18 years olds to mix with the current batch of ageing stars is not the worst outcome for Geelong.
I rate Ablett highly but as I stated at the beginning he is a midfield player, one of the best yes but he is only a midfield player. If he was a key position player of the same caliber I would have greater concern but he is not. Geelong fans must look to the future if Ablett makes a move and not dwell in the past. An Ablett defection could see a silver lining for the Cats in the long term.
Tags: Gary Ablett