GARY ABLETT –

It’s been an exciting time returning to where it all began.

I’ve really enjoyed settling back in these last few weeks, rekindling old friendships with of course, plenty of familiar faces.

While my “official” return to the GFC was meant to be the 4th of December (when the rest of the club’s five-year plus players commence pre-season training) I’ve enjoyed returning early to advance my conditioning prior to the pre-Christmas break.

I’ve also really enjoyed training alongside the younger boys and getting to know them.

Since returning home, a question that I’m frequently asked is “Which number will you be wearing?”

I’m excited to finally be able to answer that question and reveal to you all that come 2018, you will see me wearing #4 for the Geelong Football Club.

While many were quick to rightly presume that I’d be pursuing #11 (the number my Father and I both wore during our junior days at the Cats) there are in fact a number of reasons why I chose to don #4 ahead of my 17th season in the AFL.

However, the main reason being of course, my friendship with Andrew Mackie.

Gary Ablett

‘Mack’ is a really good mate of mine and someone that I have a great deal of respect for.

I absolutely loved and admired the way he went about his footy throughout his incredible career and I thought it’d be nice to be able to carry that number on for him.

Of course, I thought it was important for me to approach him first, but before I could even finish asking the question, he stopped me mid-sentence and said that he would love for me to be able to carry it on.

He spoke to me about how he’d be super stoked to see me run around in the same number that he won three premierships in and what was a significant part of his 15 years at Geelong.

Brandan Parfitt (#3) and Nakia Cockatoo (#5) have welcomed me into their little area of their locker room. Zach Tuohy (#2) was also quick to reaffirm to me that I had made a great choice!

I’m looking forward to Monday and seeing the rest of the lads and saying hello to more familiar faces.

Gary Ablett