Hunt will stick with AFL: Ablett - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Hunt will stick with AFL: Ablett

Laine Clark 28/07/2011 04:27:16 PM Comments (0)

Contrary to his coach, Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett believes code hopper Karmichael Hunt will stick with AFL and hopefully win a flag with the Suns.

Ablett kept his fingers crossed that Hunt would resist the temptation to return to rugby league and play AFL for another 10 years.

Suns coach Guy McKenna wasn't so sure this week when it emerged Hunt - off contract at the end of 2012 - had become a target of aspiring NRL franchise Brisbane Bombers.

Asked about Hunt claiming in a newspaper column that he had no thought of switching back to league, McKenna said: "As the Broncos and NRL found out - things can change".

But Ablett said on Thursday: "I'm sure he would like to continue to play AFL football - I think he will.

"I think he will play fantastic footy for us over the next couple of years.

"Hopefully he is around for 10 years and wins some premierships with us."

Hunt was a much maligned figure when he looked all at sea earlier this season.

But Ablett believed Hunt would grow into a "fantastic" player if he continued playing AFL.

"I think there were unfair expectations put on him at the start of the year," Ablett said.

"It was always going to take time coming from another code but as each week goes on, he's started playing some better footy.

"The next few years he will start playing fantastic footy.

"It will be great to have him around because he is fantastic off the field as well.

"He works just as hard as anyone else and he is a great role model for the kids."

Meanwhile, Ablett wasn't reading too much into St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt's absence due to suspension for this weekend's Carrara clash.

He said the Saints making the 2010 grand final despite Riewoldt missing 11 weeks with a hamstring tear revealed the team's calibre.

As did the Saints winning their last four matches and keeping Adelaide to their lowest all-time total last week.

"When he went down they still played fantastic footy," he said.

"It (Riewoldt's absence) is definitely going to help but I know they have a lot of other fantastic players.

"They are a fantastic side, they really play as a team, they stick to their structures - that's what has helped them get success over the last few years.

"And I think the last six weeks they have started playing better footy."

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