Nathan Ablett eyes Gold Coast VFL return - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nathan Ablett eyes Gold Coast VFL return

By Sam Lienert 29/10/2009 07:34:24 PM Comments (0)

Former Geelong premiership player Nathan Ablett is considering playing with Gold Coast in the VFL next season in what could be a step towards an AFL comeback.

Ablett, 23, the son of Cats legend Gary Ablett Sr and brother of recently crowned Brownlow Medallist Gary Jr, walked out on an AFL career after playing in the 2007 premiership, just his 32nd senior game.

He will meet with Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna next week to discuss the possibility of taking a step back towards the elite level.

The fledgling expansion club, which played in the TAC Cup under-18 competition this year, will join the VFL in 2010 ahead of their 2011 AFL entry.

But Gold Coast football manager Marcus Ashcroft said if Ablett agreed to play with them next year, there were no guarantees that would lead to an AFL return.

He would be listed as one of the club's top-up VFL players, meaning he would play for match payments and the Gold Coast would not need to sign him to a contract.

Given Ablett's long absence from top-level football, after he cited a lack of passion for his shock exit, Ashcroft said they needed to know he was committed before bringing him into their VFL squad.

"The first step is does he want to be involved in an AFL program again," Ashcroft told AAP.

"With Nathan's situation he's been out of the AFL system for a while.

"If Guy's happy that he's going to do some hard training we will look at him."

"We would give him a chance to join in a pre-season program with no promise going forward.

"Once we start playing games, if he's still committed to being here, then it's just week-to-week, seeing how he goes."

If a VFL comeback succeeds, Gold Coast would then be able to sign Ablett for their inaugural AFL season without needing to go through the draft.

During the 2010 post-season, they can sign 10 players who have previously been listed with an AFL club or nominated for the draft.

Ablett, who moved to the Gold Coast after he left the Cats, played with QAFL side Broadbeach this year, but missed much of their season with an ankle injury.

But Broadbeach coach Adrian Smith said his attitude was beyond reproach.

"I think he ended up playing eight games for us, but as far as mindset goes I can't give the bloke a big enough plug," Smith told SEN radio.

"Being selfish, we don't want to lose him, but I think he's still got a bit to offer."

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