Gold Coast Suns star Gary Ablett.
Gold Coast Suns star Gary Ablett. ROB BLAKERS

Suns say talk of Ablett trade a 'beat-up'

AFL: Gold Coast has dismissed talk Gary Ablett could be traded at the end of the 2017 season.

As expected, the two-time Brownlow Medallist relinquished the captaincy on Tuesday night while also signalling next year could be his last before retirement.

There is speculation, however, the 32-year-old may be positioning himself to try for a move back to Geelong in the twilight of his career.

But Suns chairman Tony Cochrane was adamant that Ablett, who is contracted until the end of 2018, would never be traded out.

"Gary Ablett is an absolute 110% required player at the football club,” he told SEN radio.

"Gary wants to carry on with us, he is absolutely loved by his fellow players, loved by the coaches and certainly very, very appreciated by our head coach Rodney Eade.

"That's not even something that the board has debated or will debate.”

The 288-game veteran has battled shoulder injuries the last two-and-a-half seasons, limiting his impact, and last month inquired about a trade back to the Cats, who he spent his first nine years in the AFL with.

"I know it's a really good media beat-up story,” Cochrane said.

"The fact of the matter is what he's saying is he just wants to assess how his year goes.

"He wants to make sure he can actually get through a complete year. I honestly think we've put in an awful lot of effort - as has he - with his rehab and I think he'll have a great year in a good head space.

"But, you know, we do have to face up to the prospect that if he has another shocking year of injury I think he's going to be lost to the game.

"Forget the Gold Coast Football Club. I think he's going to be lost to the game.

"We'll sit down in 12 months' time and have a sensible whole-of-club discussion, taking into account Gary's thoughts.

"I'm confident he'll have a very good year, hopefully a year free of injury, and Gary's head space will be in a very different position.”

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