Ablett back to boost Suns

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT - AN­DREW HAMIL­TON

GARY Ablett head­lines a raft of in­clu­sions for Queens­land’s two AFL clubs as they fight to avoid the wooden spoon.

Ablett joins skip­per Steven May as one of five changes to the Suns side to play Fremantle in Perth to­mor­row.

For Bris­bane, club cham­pion favourite Dayne Zorko re­turns from sus­pen­sion for their clash with the Bull­dogs at the Gabba to­mor­row while Dan McS­tray has over­come a shoul­der in­jury.

The Lions re­called Hugh McClug­gage, Jar­rod Berry and Eric Hip­wood who were rested for the trip to Perth last week with the stated aim of fresh­en­ing them up to at­tempt to win at least two of their last three home games and avoid the wooden spoon.

Suns coach Rod­ney Eade said he hoped Ablett’s re­turn from a ham­string in­jury for the long­est road trip in the AFL might put an end to crit­i­cisms he picks and choses when he plays.

Ablett has missed the past two matches, and four of the past six, with ham­string prob­lems but boarded the Suns’ flight to Perth late yes­ter­day af­ter sail­ing through a fit­ness test at Met­ri­con Sta­dium.

“I think go­ing to Perth puts to bed that the­ory that he just wants to play at home,” Eade said.

Ablett’s fu­ture re­mains up in the air given he has not ruled out ei­ther re­tir­ing or once again re­quest­ing a trade.

How­ever, Eade says he be­lieves there is lit­tle in­ter­est from Geelong in lur­ing the for­mer Cat premier­ship player home and said he ex­pected him to play his footy Suns next year.

He said he did not think it was pos­si­ble Ablett could re­gain the level that saw him uni­ver­sally con­sid­ered the best player in the game in his first four years at the Suns but be­lieved he was ca­pa­ble of con­tin­u­ing in the form he demon­strated dur­ing the mid­dle part of this sea­son.

“He’s 33, so his best form, when was that? When he was 29 or 30 years of age? He’s prob­a­bly not go­ing to play to that level, it’s very hard for any­body,’’ he said.

“But the form he’s dis­played this year, if he has a rea­son­able run with in­juries, you think he’d be able to main­tain what he’s been able to do this year.

The Suns were forced into other changes with Jar­rod Witts ( shoul­der), Cal­lum Ah Chee ( shoul­der), Bray­den Fior­ini ( ham­string) and Ben Ainsworth ( knee) all in­jured in last week’s loss to Rich­mond.

Vet­eran Michael Ris­chitelli is be­ing rested af­ter play­ing three matches in his come­back from a knee re­con­struc­tion. at the

Gary Ablett of the Suns.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.