No AFL practice match a first, Ablett says - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

No AFL practice match a first, Ablett says

Darren Cartwright 13/03/2011 06:55:39 PM Comments (0)

For the first time in his glittering AFL career, Gold Coast Suns skipper Gary Ablett will enter a season without a bona fide pre-season game under his belt.

Ablett said he had never been in the situation where he has played the opening round without topping off his preparation with a full-scale practice match.

Instead, he will rely solely on an intra-club game on the last weekend in March to prepare him for the Suns' season opener against Carlton at the Gabba on April 2.

The Suns have a bye in round one and will make their debut the following week and Ablett, who has been held back over the summer because of groin and calf problems, has increased his training campaign in recent weeks.

"I've done some good solid training now for about three weeks and I'll be ready to go," Ablett declared on Sunday.

"There'll be a scratch match in round one and I'll be ready for round two against Carlton."

Ablett and Brisbane skipper Jonathan Brown both missed Sunday's clash between their clubs at Southport but they suited up for the promotional announcement that the Suns and Lions have been tagged the 'Queensland clash'.

Brown said his training regime had also intensified and he would definitely play against Fremantle at the Gabba on March 26.

"I've had a good prep so I will be ready for round one," Brown said.

"I had a game intensity training session yesterday.

"I had an infection in my knee which cost me a couple of practice games but I'm not perturbed.

"I've done it a few times before, gone into round one without a practice match.

"I'll be a 100 per cent."

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