ABLETT SHOW ROLLS
ON; STONEHAM BACK HOME
By Ben Jensen. GEELONG's favorite brothers Gary and Nathan Ablett are set to star in the Cats' 2006 AFL premiership season. The Geelong Football Club has held a number of intraclub games over the past few weekends, during which both have starred, although more so Gary.
Gary has spent time in attack and the midfield. The dilemma of the past two seasons will present itself again - is the team better off with Gary on the ball or up forward? We think he's best up forward; he is a play maker, one who will do anything to get the ball. And once he gets the ball - look out opposition!
Nathan will be spending his AFL time up forward. Although you may see him play a quarter or two down back to continue his development. Nathan played four games last season, kicking eight goals, including two on debut and one in a final. He has certainly 'bulked up' since last season, as he needs to be as he draws more seasoned professionals from opposition backlines.
It has been well reported in mainstream media that Gary Ablett Senior visited training last week. This follows his visits to matches last season, including Nathan's debut. Don't expect him to be a regular fixture around the club any time soon, but it is great that he's back.
Ablett isn't the only star of the 90s back at the club. Former skipper Barry Stoneham has joined the club's coaching panel. Having left the club the pursue a career outside football, Stoneham has a part time role, albeit a busy one - he's the talls coach, ruck coach, and a match day runner.
Stoneham had the world at his feet in the early 90s; considered by some, including Sam Newman, to be the best in the game. But it all fell apart when he broke his leg on a rock hard Optus Oval in 1994. After suffering from infection and very nearly losing the leg, he missed almost all of 1994 and 1995, but was still appointed co-captain along with Gary Ablett and present-day coach Ken Hinkley in 1995. Stoneham came back to play another 89 games before retiring after Geelong's loss to Hawthorn in the 2000 elimination final at Telstra Dome.
Geelong's season opens on 25 February, when they meet Carlton at Telstra Dome in week 1 of the NAB Cup.
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ABLETT ONE SPECIAL SEASON
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