AFL star Gary Ablett has explained his reasoning for a trade request to Geelong in an open letter.
Ablett has requested a release from the final year of his contract after seven years on the Gold Coast.
Writing for the Exclusive Insight website, the 33-year-old said a need to be closer to family was the catalyst for a move back to Geelong.
“I am confident that I have a lot of footy still left in my body. But I am also aware that, at my age, it’s really all about balance,” Ablett wrote.
“Sixteen years on, now married and looking to start a family, my priorities have shifted. I need to be around my family back home, who I have spent the last 7 years doing long distance with.
“My sisters, my brother, and parents all play a huge role in my life, and it’s time that I make myself more available to them and others back home.
“I am at a stage in my career where I need to get the balance right between footy and life outside of football, and the recent break period has allowed me the time that I needed to put certain things in place.”
Ablett said he did not regret his move north in 2010 after winning premierships with the Cats in 2007 and 2009.
“People will wonder whether I regret my decision signing with the Gold Coast Suns. I can promise you, that is simply not true,” Ablett said.
“Although I am requesting for my time to come to an end on the Gold Coast, there is absolutely nothing that I would have done differently.
“It has allowed me to grow as a player and as a leader. I have built great relationships and have made lifelong friends. Coming to this decision has been extremely tough because, like most people, I don’t like disappointing others.”
The two-time Brownlow Medallist unsuccessfully requested a trade back to Geelong last year.