Geelong Cats star Gary Ablett with his ‘Welcome home Gaz’ sign. Picture: Mike Dugdale
Geelong Cats star Gary Ablett with his ‘Welcome home Gaz’ sign. Picture: Mike Dugdale

Danger’s ominous warning for Ablett doubters

AFL: Geelong's Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield has a warning for any Gary Ablett doubters: Write the superstar veteran off at your own peril.

Dangerfield and Ablett will join forces for the first time this season after the latter's homecoming wish was granted during last year's trade period.

Ablett, 33, returns to Kardinia Park after four straight injury-interrupted seasons at the Gold Coast Suns - a run that has sparked some to question the worth of the Cats' acquisition.

But Dangerfield said the AFL community couldn't afford to underestimate a footy champion of Ablett's nature.

"I think Gary's footy will do the talking. We're very excited with what he's going to bring," Dangerfield told Fox Sports News.

"Write him off at your own peril, because I think he's got a few points to prove."

Ablett has been training with the Cats since early December and has already made a positive impression on the club's playing group, especially Dangerfield.

"There's so much you can learn off one of the all-time greats," Dangerfield said.

"His vision in the contest is phenomenal, but just his philosophies around reading the cues of different players has been impressive so far."

Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield have combined forces at Geelong. Picture: Alan Barber
Gary Ablett, Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield have combined forces at Geelong. Picture: Alan Barber

The addition of Ablett to an already strong midfield mix that includes Dangerfield, Joel Selwood and Mitch Duncan leaves coach Chris Scott with a 'good problem', in terms of fitting in so many guns into the same team.

Dangerfield said he expected "quite a few players" to rotate through the guts this season.

"There's plenty of teams with good, experienced midfields and quality players. Sydney are a really good example … we'll do the same thing," Dangerfield said.

"It's a balance. Everyone wants to play forward more when the ball's coming inside the forward 50 freely, but when it's not you want to be around where the action is."

The addition of Ablett, as well as former Bulldogs and Essendon forward Stewart Crameri, has seen the Cats climb from the 10th-oldest list in the competition last year to the third-oldest in 2018.

Following two consecutive preliminary finals exits, there's a sense of premiership-or-bust around Geelong for the upcoming season.

But Dangerfield said the list's age and past results weren't big motivating factors for the club.

"You need to strike every year when you feel you've got the opportunity to win - and for us that's every year," he said.

"We feel we've got a really good balance of experienced players and younger players coming through. We have a few at the older end but we've also got a huge amount of young players and when you walk through the corridors and listen to the conversations that are happening, it sometimes reminds you how old you are."



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