Gary Ablett has been tipped to play a maximum of 18 games this year.
Gary Ablett has been tipped to play a maximum of 18 games this year.

Ablett to be eased through farewell season

GARY Ablett is expected to miss up to a month of the home-and-away season as Geelong manages his workload in his final campaign.

The 35-year-old is in line to play his 250th game as a Cat this year, needing 15 matches to become the 19th player to reach the milestone for Geelong.

Ablett featured in 24 games last year, his highest tally since 2010.

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However, the veteran will be closely managed in his 19th AFL campaign as Geelong looks to have him primed for a strong finish to his illustrious career.

Ablett's manager Liam Pickering said he was likely to play about 18 games in 2020, should the Cats qualify for finals.

Ablett said he was focused on having an impact for Geelong when it mattered most.

"I know there's been a lot of talk about whether I should have been rested more throughout last year. I always talk about peaking at the right time," he said.

"I want to make sure, first of all, we win enough games to play finals footy. And if that is the case, that I am feeling good come finals time."

Gary Ablett has been tipped to play a maximum of 18 games this year.
Gary Ablett has been tipped to play a maximum of 18 games this year.

Ablett said he was determined to savour every moment of his last AFL season.

"The plan is to finish up with a premiership. We are confident we have got the team to do it," he said.

Pickering said Ablett was capable of signing off with a 45-goal campaign playing predominantly in attack.

Ablett was named in last year's All-Australian squad after booting 34.18.

In October, the Cats insisted there would be no specific management plan to ease Ablett through 2020 after he committed to playing on.

"That's something we talk about in regards to how do you ensure players, whether it be Gary or anyone on our list, are peaking at the right time," Geelong football boss Simon Lloyd said.

"We'll work through that and work really closely with our medical and conditioning department because we need our players peaking at the right time of the year.

 

 

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