Ablett's house move will get tongues wagging
SPECULATION that champion Gary Ablett will leave the Suns at the end of 2017 is set to soar with news the 32-year-old has put his Gold Coast house on the market.
Reports of Ablett's house being for sale follow the bombshell revelation during last year's AFL trade period that the one-time Geelong star had inquired about a trade back to his old club.
The Suns refused to entertain the idea.
While Ablett's intent to sell his 3342sq m residence may have nothing to do with his football future, the move will raise eyebrows among the football community.
He has two years left on his $1 million-a-season contract but has relinquished the Suns captaincy for 2017.
The Suns say Ablett has since pledged to finish his career at the club.
Ablett revealed a "deteriorated” family issue and a need to be closer to family in Victoria was behind his shock request to return to Geelong.
When news broke that Ablett had asked about a potential trade, Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane scoffed at the reports, labelling them a "complete beat-up”.
"Way before the trade period, Gary had a very brief conversation with our head of football (Marcus Ashcroft) just to discuss that Geelong had asked him whether he'd like to come back,” Cochrane had told the Herald Sun.
"The conversation lasted two or three minutes. Gary completely accepted that as far as the Gold Coast Suns are concerned he's an absolutely required player.”
Ablett's manager, Liam Pickering, didn't rule out the possibility of the veteran again requesting a move at the end of 2017, but said his client might play out his remaining two years at the Suns.
"He actually just asked the question and said, 'I'm homesick, I want to be able to get around my family',” Pickering said.
"They said 'no dice', and that was the end of it.
"You don't know unless you ask. The answer was pretty emphatic and we've moved on.”