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Junior Ablett now better than his dad: McKenna

Michael Whiting  March 30, 2013 10:46 PM

Suns v St Kilda Gold Coast and St Kilda clash at Metricon Stadium
I've watched Gary closely and he's humble enough to say his old man is better than he is - I would beg to differ
GARY Ablett has now surpassed his legendary father Gary snr.

That's the opinion of Gold Coast coach Guy McKenna after the Suns skipper almost single-handedly lifted his team to a first-round win over St Kilda.

Ablett finished with 34 disposals and four goals in the 13-point victory, helping his team overcome a nine-point three quarter-time deficit to run away with an upset win.

He had 13 touches and kicked three team-lifting goals in the crucial final term.

McKenna played against Ablett's father during the great West Coast-Geelong battles of the late 1980s and early 1990s and said his son had reached a new level.

"I had the unfortunate pleasure of playing on his father a couple of times and being on the wrong end on those occasions," McKenna said, following Saturday night's win.

"I've watched Gary closely and he's humble enough to say his old man is better than he is - I would beg to differ."

McKenna said, aside from the goals and disposals, the big change in Ablett was his leadership.

He added Ablett was now trusting the rest of the Suns' midfield, including David Swallow, Michael Rischitelli, Harley Bennell and even first-gamer Jaeger O’Meara.

Click here to read about the big talking points from the Suns-Saints game

Confidence was a big word in McKenna's post-match press conference.

He said the victory over the Saints would be a huge "shot in the arm" ahead of the Suns' round two trip to take on the Sydney Swans, who beat GWS earlier on Saturday.

"[The win has given us the] confidence to know you're good enough and you can beat sides," he said.

"St Kilda are thereabouts around the eight, and I would think it gives them a shot in the arm this week for Sydney.

"We've got to go back to the drawing boards, work on some areas, but ultimately the boys will be in better spirits ... and be better placed going in the game against Sydney knowing they can take on a physically mature side in a hectic last quarter."