BY sitting in the stands and copping the weekly wacks in the media about his toughness or perceived lack thereof, Suns captain Gary Ablett Jnr is showing his teammates more about sacrifice than he could ever do on the field.
For those that didn’t hear about it, or those that did and laughed it off as make-believe nonsense, it is in fact true that the severity of Gary Ablett’s shoulder injury (and by extension the toughness of the great man) was called into question last week by one of the game’s greatest players in Jonathan Brown.
Yep, he called Gary Ablett soft.
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You’ve had a shocker Browny.
Firstly, the percentage of wellness attributed to Ablett’s shoulder is absolutely irrelevant.
We all know he COULD play – the question is should he.
In the new footy age where strategic planning and ‘selling hope’ to fans is paramount, situations like Ablett’s injury have become extremely nuanced.
It is not as simple as ‘if he can’t do more damage he should play’.
With Ablett, the Suns are playing the long game and the ‘how’ Ablett returns to footy is far more important than the ‘when’.
Ablett knows, as does coach Rodney Eade, that there are only two things that can be salvaged from 2015.
Belief and Unity.
Before this season is over the best 30 players at the Suns have to absolutely believe in each other and in where Eade is taking them.
This can still be achieved.
After the bye the Suns travel to Melbourne to play a Carlton side that has less talent and almost as many injuries as the Suns do.
Ablett will make his return, but more importantly, accompanying him returning from injury will be the likes of Day, Malceski, Thompson, Martin and hopefully David Swallow.
If they play with any ticker whatsoever (and I have to assume that they will), the Suns will win that game emphatically.
Ablett will have 30+ and kick three goals, leading the Suns to victory and appearing ‘to be back’ to a fan base desperate for sustained good news.
The win will have an extremely galvanising effect on the club, sparking a considerable late season surge that will be invaluable for season 2016.
But only if Ablett is held back.
Anyone who has ever played footy, or any team sport, knows that Ablett would be dying inside every week he isn’t out there with his mates.
Let’s not forget, this is a man who for the last half decade has copped a hard (and I do mean HARD) tag by the league’s meanest midfielders.
That people are questioning his toughness is ridiculous.
Perhaps Jonathan Brown would do well to look at the last two months of Brisbane Lions captain Tom Rockliff’s career before espousing the virtues of returning early from injury to help out the team.
For we Suns fans though, we will simply continue to do what we have always done.
Trust in Gary.
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