Poster-boy Ablett 'under more pressure' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Poster-boy Ablett 'under more pressure'

By Adam Cooper 30/03/2010 07:52:56 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson says the publication of a poster depicting Gary Ablett as a Gold Coast player has put the AFL's star-in-demand under more pressure to decide his future.

The Cats were angered by the publication of a digitally-altered image of Ablett wearing the strip of the AFL's club-in-waiting in Monday's edition of the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper.

The Gold Coast will enter the league in 2011 and have Ablett as their No.1 recruiting target.

But the club distanced itself from the publication of the poster, which also directed fans to sign up as members and visit the club's website.

Geelong called on the AFL and the AFL Players Association (AFLPA) to take action, as they claimed the poster was clearly an advertisement and used Ablett's image in a promotional sense without his authorisation.

Thompson on Tuesday made it clear he was not impressed by the poster's publication.

"It's pretty cheeky really. It just puts more pressure on Gary," Thompson said.

"It's a little bit outside the rules and the ethical boundaries of the industry we're in.

"I don't think Gary wants to be posted up as a Gold Coast player just yet."

Thompson has recently tried to sway Ablett to resist the Gold Coast's offer and stay with the Cats, but on Tuesday referred queries about the Cats initiating legal action over the poster's publication to Cats chief executive Brian Cook.

"I'm the footy coach. I don't know much about what we're doing outside of playing," he said.

"I don't think Gold Coast will be as cheeky as that again."

Ablett said in a newspaper column last weekend he wanted to concentrate on his football and would make a decision about his playing future when he was ready.

An AFLPA spokesman said the association was still in talks with Ablett and his manager about what action to take against the Bulletin.

Geelong began their premiership defence with a 31-point win over Essendon last Friday night and play Hawthorn on Easter Monday at the MCG.

Defender Darren Milburn has been ruled out with a hamstring injury, while forward Max Rooke (knee) will again be missing as he returns from injury through the VFL.

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