SCOTT MORTON and SUZIE COFFEY
THERE'S no escaping the fact that if you're name's Ablett and you play football you're going to find yourself at the centre of the media spotlight.
It doesn't matter that you're just 17-years-old and have only ever played for small-town teams.
Such is the case with Nathan Ablett, progeny of perhaps the game's greatest player Gary Ablett.
But just months after being lured down to the Geelong Falcons, one of the hottest breeding grounds of AFL talent, the youngest Ablett boy has called it quits; turned his back on what many were tipping as a certain AFL career.
It's said he has a God-given talent to play the game but it appears public expectation fuelled by a voracious media is too much for his young shoulders to bear.
By all reports, he had the makings of a league centre-half forward.
Like his father and older brother Gary junior, Nathan was expected to pull on the Cats blue and white hoops sometime in the next couple of years.
Indeed his football and stature (he stands at 193cm) has already drawn comparisons with Brisbane's powerhouse centre-half forward Jonathan Brown, also a former Falcon.
So it was a blow for football fans and the sport itself (not to mention the Geelong Football Club) this week when the youngest son of the Geelong legend announced he was quitting the Falcons, and possibly football all together.
Even before yesterday's news Ablett had attracted an inordinate amount of publicity - as a 16-year-old playing in the Modewarre under 18s last year newspaper spreads were devoted to his progress.
His decision was broadcast yesterday on free-to-air television and made headlines in Melbourne's daily metropolitan papers and the Geelong Advertiser.