Blue and white family ties bind Cats youngsters

Wednesday, June 26

FAMILY ties have preserved the names Ablett, Clarke, Scarlett and Woolnough at Geelong.

The father-son rule has returned the families to Skilled Stadium where Gary junior, David, Matthew and Mark are following in their father's footsteps.

The cultivation of family tradition has already heralded results for the Cats, with David Clarke and Matthew Scarlett affixing themselves to the senior side. Gary Ablett is fast approaching that status while Mark Woolnough is overcoming an injury-riddled start to his career.

But for the Cats - who boast the most father-sons of any AFL club - the future appears even rosier.

Nathan Ablett - the youngest son of goalkicking great Gary and brother to the Cats' No. 29 - will be the next prospect to tantalise thousands of fans.

Tim Callan, son of Terry, is at the Geelong Falcons and making a name for himself, while Rod Blake's towering ruckman son Mark is also under the eyes of AFL recruiters.

Other prospects out on local grounds, but too young for the drafting system, include Thomas Couch - son of Brownlow medallist Paul Couch - Che Turner (Michael) and Jacob Neal (Robert).

As many as six father-son prospects loom in future seasons. Some, like Blake and Callan, could be as close as next season.

Geelong will be hoping the father-son rule heralds similar results to those of Essendon, through Dustin Fletcher, Richmond with Matthew Richardson and Carlton via Lance Whitnall.