Teammates are united in praising Ablett

Gary Ablett at training at Aurora Stadium yesterday.
Gary Ablett at training at Aurora Stadium yesterday.

THE ultimate professional and a hell of a nice guy.

That's how Gold Coast midfielder Jesse Lonergan describes his captain, and football royalty Gary Ablett.

Two-time Brownlow medallist Ablett will grace the Aurora Stadium for the third time this afternoon when his Suns take on the challenge of the second-placed Hawks.

The presence of the 30-year-old, who played in two premierships at Geelong before joining the expansion side in Queensland, alone is one of the big factors that is likely to see more than 15,000 at Aurora today.

"He's the best player I've ever seen in playing and training, and he's so professional around the club and definitely leads by example," Lonergan, from Launceston, said this week.

"He's someone that I've always watched since joining the club as he's a contested ball winner who wins a lot of his ball inside and can do the unbelievable around the ground as well.

"As a person, he is just a great bloke who is very approachable."

Lonergan said there was one key football lesson that he'd taken from Ablett, who is having yet another fine season, averaging 32 disposals and kicking 22.7, and being right up there in most statistical categories in the league.

"I've learnt from him that you've got to take pride in your possessions, that when you get the footy, you don't want to muck it up, you want to make sure you do something with it and just to make sure you have an awareness around the ground," Lonergan said.

Another fan of Ablett's with a Launceston connection is Kade Kolodjashnij, the Suns' Rising Star favourite who has played 11 games with the superstar.

"`He's just a great all round person who is really professional both on and off the field," Kolodjashnij said.

"What I have learnt off him is that you have to just do those little extra things to make sure you can make yourself a better player."

The last time Ablett played at Launceston was in the Suns' debut season in 2011, when he was at his prolific best, collecting 34 possessions in his side's 71-point loss.

In 2007, he was part of the Geelong team that lost a four-point thriller to the Hawks, when he finished with 2.3 from 17 possessions.