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Ablett focussed on grand final

22/09/2009 04:03:34 PM Comments (0)

New AFL Brownlow Medallist Gary Ablett will quickly come down from the clouds on Tuesday morning - his girlfriend's hair pins will see to that.

Ablett says his long-time partner Lauren Phillips will help ensure he does not lose focus ahead of Geelong's grand final on Saturday against St Kilda.

The Cats' third-straight grand final meant Ablett and Phillips were quickly back in their hotel room after the Monday-night count and the media conference that followed.

Ablett was due to call his famous father Gary Snr, who is in Queensland, and spend a few minutes celebrating quietly with family and friends, but otherwise his No.1 task this week is winning a second premiership.

"Tomorrow (morning) when he's trying to take all these hair pins out of my hair, he'll be back to being boyfriend, not Brownlow Medallist," Phillips joked.

"He's the one who's very grounded. Sometimes I get excited about how he goes and how he plays.

He's the one who brings it back to reality.

"Fingers crossed, we'll have two medals around his neck by the end of the week.

"We'll celebrate after Saturday, hopefully."

In a dominant performance, Ablett finally won the medal by eight votes after high placings for the previous two seasons.

He admitted it stung "a little bit" late in the season when there were accusations that he was playing for Brownlow votes.

"But I think I handle things like that pretty well - you try not to read the media too much; you get pumped up one week and put down the next," he said.

"People are always going to have their opinions ... it doesn't faze me too much.

"I enjoy playing footy, I love getting out on that field and nothing anyone says is going to change that."

Ablett is rapt with the Cats' form, following the preliminary final demolition of Collingwood on Saturday night and the successful return of players such as Steve Johnson and Paul Chapman from injury.

"We've prepared well, we've prepared as good as we can and we have some important players back at the right time, it's fantastic," he said.

"We'll be going into the game with no excuses."

Ablett said Geelong had handled the week off differently between the qualifying final and preliminary final, after struggling with that break in the last two seasons.

"We've probably learnt a lot from the previous two - especially, we prepared very differently leading into the preliminary final, which was great," he said.

"We trained a lot harder, where we probably used it for more of a rest (in) the previous two years.

"That's been good for us and it will be a bit lighter week for us this week."

Team-mate Jimmy Bartel won the Brownlow two years ago, just before the Cats broke their 44-year premiership drought.

Bartel said Ablett had earnt his Brownlow.

"I'm one of the most excited people here for him. I've seen Gazza play since he was 15-16," Bartel said.

"Everything he has, he's thoroughly deserved.

"Every one of the players is rapt for him."

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