I earned Suns' captaincy, says Ablett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

I earned Suns' captaincy, says Ablett

By Laine Clark and Ed Jackson 19/01/2011 06:11:54 PM Comments (0)

To many, including his former Geelong skipper Tom Harley, Gary Ablett's appointment as inaugural Gold Coast captain was an "absolute no brainer".

But Ablett stressed on Wednesday that he had to earn the AFL newcomers' captaincy.

In one of the AFL's worst kept secrets, Ablett was revealed as the club's first skipper following a vote amongst team-mates.

Ex-Adelaide defender Nathan Bock is his deputy with former Hawthorn premiership-winning utility Campbell Brown deputy vice-captain.

Harley gave Ablett's appointment the tick of approval, saying it was "scary" what his former dual premiership teammate could achieve on the field as Suns skipper.

"The cynic would say it's a small talent pool to pick from but for me it's an absolute no-brainer," he said.

"There are some players out there who when given the responsibility of captaining a club actually increase their output as players.

"That's the scary thought ... (and) I've got no reason to doubt him."

But Ablett did his best on Wednesday to hose down the perception he had agreed to leave Geelong after being offered the Suns captaincy.

After Cameron Ling became Harley's successor at Geelong, the Suns' captaincy would have been a big carrot to Ablett - along with a multi-million dollar, five-year deal, of course.

But Ablett said he earned the Suns' honour by impressing his peers in pre-season training ahead of their 2011 AFL debut.

"When I made the decision to come up here I sat down and spoke with the club and they never offered me the captaincy," Ablett said.

"They said whoever the players vote for will be captain and I was happy with that.

"I said six months ago it (captaincy) would be something I would like to do down the track but if I am not the right man for the job then so be it - I am happy to play a role in any kind of leadership.

"I was voted captain and I am excited and looking forward to working with all the boys."

Ablett's fallout with Geelong coach Mark Thompson is well documented, so it was no surprise the Brownlow medallist was reluctant to delve deep into his past on Wednesday.

Asked if he had an opportunity to captain at Geelong, Ablett said: "There's been a lot said about whether I was offered the job at Geelong ... but I am here now, I am captain and I am looking forward to it."

But he added: "I think Lingy was the perfect guy to take up the role down there.

"It's not something you really push forward.

"It's something the players have to vote you in."

The Suns' leadership group is completed by ex-Brisbane Lions hardman Michael Rischitelli, last year's Suns VFL captain Marc Lock and young guns Maverick Weller, Zac Smith and Daniel Harris.

Harley hoped Ablett would use the experience at his disposal to cope with his huge burden.

"I've sort of felt Gaz was reluctant to be the captain of a new club," he said.

"If ever there's going to be a captain that works after-hours and overtime it's going to be the Gold Coast Suns captain or the (GWS) Giants captain in 12 months' time.

"To do the job effectively you've really got to share the load.

"I think they've actually got a pretty good cross-section of players and experience to share the load (in the Suns' leadership group).

"The one pitfall is if Gary tries to do it all because he's going to be doing a hell of a lot on the field, but I'm confident he'll be a success as their captain."

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