Nathan Ablett's AFL future unclear - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Nathan Ablett's AFL future unclear

Guy Hand 28/08/2011 07:06:10 PM Comments (0)

Premiership forward Nathan Ablett is no closer to having shored up his AFL future with the Gold Coast Suns beyond this season.

Ablett booted a goal - courtesy of some brilliant lead-up from brother Gary - but had little real impact in the Suns' 30-point loss to Melbourne at the MCG on Sunday.

He played his first game of the year last week and has just one more match to impress coach Guy McKenna enough to win a new deal - should he be selected to play.

So far, McKenna is non-committal on whether the 25-year-old, who won a premiership with Geelong in 2007, is needed for next year as he decides which Suns to axe.

"We'll sit down with Nathan - we've got 15 boys out of contract. The magical number is seven or eight of those boys will have to go for us to get into the draft," McKenna said.

"He was similar to last week, he wasn't super but he wasn't disappointing either.

"Whether he plays next week or not, we need to discuss the whole year with him and how it's gone.

"With him, it's probably how he's gone over the last two years, rather than just the last two games."

The two senior midfielders - Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli - were excellent as Gold Coast pushed the Dees in the 17.10 (112) to 12.10 (82) defeat.

And elsewhere, McKenna believes he has unearthed enough quality among his 33 AFL debutants this season to build a more durable outfit in 2012, rather than the one which has faded in and out as 2011 has gone on.

"We think there's some boys now we can trust to play a whole season of footy next year," McKenna said.

"The hard thing to judge is collectively how the side's gone as a group.

"You can look at wins and losses, and quarters and halves of football ... but I'm confident when our midfield group settles down, when our defenders settle down, and our young forwards settle down, I think the chemistry will get better.

"That's where I think the biggest spike will be collectively next year."

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