Harris extra keen on Ablett at Suns - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Harris extra keen on Ablett at Suns

By Darren Cartwright 05/08/2010 11:04:47 AM Comments (0)

Accomplished Gold Coast midfielder Daniel Harris has even more reasons than most for wanting Brownlow medallist Gary Ablett to join the Suns.

Harris, who racked up 149 matches with North Melbourne, has already played alongside another all-time AFL great in Wayne Carey.

And he said the Suns' developing players would also be better off for Ablett's presence if he decides to leave Geelong and head north at season's end.

"I could end up playing with two of the best players to have played the game in Wayne Carey and Gary Ablett, if he comes up, as everyone knows he's our main target," Harris told AAP.

"If he comes up it would be absolutely fantastic for the club. You can learn so much from players like that."

Harris's path to the Suns was not by design.

In 2008, he had a falling out with then-North Melbourne coach Dean Laidley.

When a mooted trade failed to eventuate, he stuck around at Arden St for one more season, playing 10 games before being delisted.

Overlooked in the 2009 national and pre-season drafts, Gold Coast threw Harris an AFL lifeline and selected him as a mature-age rookie.

He has spent 2010 being a much-needed role model in the VFL for the throng of teenagers on the Suns' list.

"It's obvious I would rather being playing AFL footy, but this is my pathway back, said Harris, who has been guaranteed an AFL contract for 2011.

"If I didn't put my hand up I probably wouldn't be playing AFL at all.

"I thought it would probably be a bit of a drag this year, but I have really enjoyed it and playing with the young group and helping them develop.

"Each week I have tried to help and develop younger players and as far as that goes I have developed myself as well in the area of trying to coach the kids."

History beckons for Harris in round one next year.

Not only would the 28-year-old rack up 150 AFL matches, but he would also be a member of the Suns' inaugural team, which in itself is a minor triumph given his career was headed toward the scrapheap less than 12 months ago.

"It's a unique situation I find myself in and to be a part of it at the moment is very exciting as well," Harris said.

"I look forward to running out on the ground, and hopefully in the first round, which will also be my 150th and it would mean a lot to me."

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