Cats legend can't see Gary Ablett returning to Geelong
AFL: Geelong premiership captain Cameron Ling says he struggles to see Gary Ablett making a return to the Cattery at season's end.
Ablett, who will play for the Suns against Hawthorn at the MCG on Saturday, requested a trade home to Geelong at the end of last season and could again pitch to make the move this year.
But with the star midfielder contracted to the Gold Coast until the end of 2018, Ling conceded it would be difficult for the two clubs to come to terms on a trade.
"(The idea of a return is) very romantic. The very much little crazy Cat fan that I am, part of me wants that to happen - but I don't see it happening," Ling said on Nova 100's Chrissie, Sam and Browny.
"Geelong won't give anything up for him, and they shouldn't at that age, but the Suns will expect and quite rightly demand something for him.
"So I reckon it will be a bit hard."
Reports earlier this week suggested the Suns would be unwilling to let Ablett leave for one or more late draft picks, like Hawthorn did for club champions Sam Mitchell (West Coast) and Jordan Lewis (Melbourne) last year.
The Hawks sensationally traded Mitchell for pick 88, while Lewis was bundled with pick 57 and pick 68 for Melbourne's picks 48 and 66.
However, given Ablett has hit strong form this year, the Suns would likely want to receive something good in return.
The dual Brownlow Medallist has averaged 32.1 disposals, 7.2 clearances, 5.2 tackles and 0.7 goals across his nine games this season.
While Ling was sceptical on his former teammate's chances of returning to Geelong, he was bullish on the Cats' chances in September this season.
Geelong's ruthless victory over Adelaide, off the back of wins over the Bulldogs and Port Adelaide, helped it solidify its top-four position.
"I'm starting to get excited ... (after) three weeks of wondering if they were going to be playing in the finals or not they were playing that badly," Ling said.
"The last three weeks, in particular Friday night against the Crows, it's almost got me heading down there to start queuing up for grand final tickets.
"They're going all right the boys, the true champions that are outstanding (like) Joel Selwood and Patty Dangerfield."