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Ablett to play forward

Gary Ablett Press Conf Gary Ablett speaks to the media during the 2019 Community Camp

The question has long been asked, just how many goals could Gary Ablett Jnr kick as a stay at home forward?

Cats fans might be about to find out.

The Little Master has revealed he will be spending a large portion of 2019 playing inside the forward arc.

“That’s where I’ve been training – down forward,” Ablett says.

“I will spend a little bit of time through the midfield, but I’ll probably spend the majority of time down forward this year.”

Ablett says both he and Chris Scott believe the role is one that will be the most beneficial for the Cats’ prospects this season.

“I sat down with Scotty in the off-season and we just spoke through where he and I thought I was the best fit for the team and how I can help the team win games.

“We decided that was going to be down forward.

It is going to be a new role for me, but a role that I’m really looking forward to… it might be next year that I’m only getting half the possessions that I’m used to getting, but just making sure that I’m damaging with those possessions. - Gary Ablett

At 34 years of age, Ablett still isn’t considering his football mortality.

“It (retirement) is not something I’ve thought about too much,” he says.

“I know it is going to end at some stage, but my focus is just having the best pre-season I possibly can and doing everything I need to do to give myself the best opportunity of playing all 22 games and then hopefully finals footy.”

“It doesn’t get easier as you get older but you kind of adapt and start to figure out ways you can potentially do things better.

“I’m not going to move like I moved when I was 23 but I can still improve in areas of my game.”

Ablett’s presence down forward will be a big boost for the Cats who are looking to increase the time spent inside the Geelong forward half.

“A big focus for me has been my contested work inside forward 50 and those one on one contests. Obviously spending a lot of time down forward, I want to make sure that I’m winning them,” Ablett says.

“I think an area of the game that’s really important with some of the rule changes that have been put in place is being able to win one on one contests, so we’re putting a few of our stronger bodies down forward and hoping that we can hold the ball in our half.

“As a forward you want to kick goals, that’s obviously a big part of it. I haven’t set a goal on how many I’d like to kick, it’d be more about making sure our forward line is putting on good defensive pressure and sharing the ball around where we can.”

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs