Ablett open letter: 'I need to be around my family'
GOLD COAST star Gary Ablett says he has no regrets about his move north but can no longer do a "long distance" relationship with his family.
Ablett has requested a trade back to Geelong after seven years at the Suns despite being contracted to Gold Coast for next season.
The potential move is one of the headline acts for the AFL Trade Period, which starts today.
Writing for the Exclusive Insight website, the 33-year-old said while football is "all I have ever known" his priorities in life had now "shifted".
"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 the initial move to the Suns from Geelong, where he had played the first nine seasons of his career and played in 2007 and 2009 premierships.
"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."
Ablett - a two-time Brownlow Medallist who unsuccessfully sought a trade back to Geelong last year - has played 302 AFL games and kicked 386 goals.