Dad's pitfalls 'won't help Ablett' - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Dad's pitfalls 'won't help Ablett'

By Adam Cooper 01/12/2007 06:11:09 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Mark Thompson admits reluctant forward Nathan Ablett has been put under pressure by the pitfalls of his famous father, but is adamant a return to the AFL will help the young Cat.

Thompson on Saturday could not deny part of the reason Ablett felt extra pressure, which resulted in him walking out on the Cats during the week, was due to his father Gary senior speaking publicly about his battles with drugs and depression.

As the reigning premiers gives their young star space to contemplate his future, Thompson said Gary senior's admissions and the public interest Nathan's walk-out had generated would only increase the scrutiny heaped on the 21-year-old.

"He'll be the one (to decide), we can't tell him what to do," Thompson said.

"No one can tell anyone what to do, he's just got to have a little bit of a think.

"Just the amount of media (interest) already, that alone is going to put a bit of pressure on him, so it's a really delicate one.

"The (interest) is an amazing phenomenon and basically with the news of his dad and what's gone on there, that's put a bit of pressure on Nathan."

Ablett this week told Geelong he had lost his appetite for the game and the Cats have given him an indefinite period to consider his future.

Having been reluctant to join Geelong initially four years ago, and ever-conscious of avoiding the public spotlight, his sudden departure has prompted doubts over whether he will play again.

Ablett's premature departure followed that of his father before the 1991 season, although he returned midway through that season and played out his career.

Gary senior this week spoke of his personal problems and the release of his autobiography is only likely to heighten public interest in his sons, Gary junior and Nathan.

Nathan enjoyed a breakthrough season in 2007, playing 21 games including the grand final win over Port Adelaide, after he initially repelled the Cats' attempts to recruit him, preferring to play with his mates at Modewarre.

Thompson admitted Nathan had always been reluctant to accept the public scrutiny that comes with professional football.

But the coach added his belief Geelong were best-placed to provide a stable environment.

"You never know with Nathan what's going to come, but he's just struggling a bit at the moment," he told radio station SEN.

"He'll have a bit of time away and we'll support him as much as we can and hopefully the right result turns out.

"He's always had these feelings that he could walk away easily.

"We think, and everybody thinks ... the best thing for Nathan to do would be to continue to play because we can look after him as well as anybody."

Club president Frank Costa reportedly plans on seeking an urgent meeting with the forward.

Thompson said he was yet to consider what plan of action the Cats would take over a replacement player should Ablett decide to quit football for good.

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