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Ablett still the champ, still undecided on future

Gary Ablett has won a fourth Gold Coast best and fairest award - ${keywords}
Gary Ablett has won a fourth Gold Coast best and fairest award
I've got some other things going on in my life and I need to start prioritizing other things
Gold Coast club champion Gary Ablett

GARY Ablett is heading back to Victoria to spend time with family and will have a decision on his future in the coming weeks.

The star midfielder won his fourth Gold Coast best and fairest award on Saturday night and said he still hadn't decided what he'd like to do in 2018.

Ablett is contracted to the Suns for next year, but after requesting a trade to Geelong last off-season, is expected to do the same this time around.

"I've got a lot to think about over the next couple of weeks," Ablett said. 

"The plan is just to get away from the pressures of football, go spend some time with family.

"I've been at the top level 16 years and I've got some other things going on in my life and I need to start prioritizing other things, so they're some of the things I need to talk through.

"That's something we'll work out in the next couple of weeks."

During his acceptance speech, Ablett detoured to talk about his time at the Suns.

"I just want to be clear, I love this football club," he said.

"I've been here for seven years, it's been such a big part of my life.

"It was a very tough decision moving away from family.

"I also feel like I've grown as a leader and person. I'd like to thank everyone at the club, especially the players that supported me being captain the first five or six years.

"If I was to be completely honest, I probably wasn't ready for that the first couple of years. The players really got behind me."

Ablett (126 votes) held on from David Swallow (106) and Jack Martin (104) to win the best and fairest after missing seven of the final 10 games with calf and hamstring problems.

It caps an amazing season for the two-time Brownlow medallist. 

Although barely able to get on the field in the back half of the season, when the 33-year-old played he was fantastic, averaging 33 disposals and eight clearances a game – both second in the AFL. 

It is his sixth best and fairest overall after winning at the Cats in their 2007 and 2009 premiership years, and then at the Suns in 2011, 2012 and 2013. 

 

Swallow's performance to come second after two years ravaged by knee injuries was a credit to both his perseverance and relentless on-field nature.

The 2014 club champion averaged 22 touches in his 18 games and was also named the players' player of the year. 

It is the second consecutive season Martin has secured a top three finish, after placing behind Tom Lynch and Jarrod Harbrow last year. 

The 22-year-old was one of only three players, alongside Peter Wright and Adam Saad, to play every match in 2017. 

Gold Coast's five-man match committee award a maximum of five votes each to an unlimited number of players each match, meaning the maximum votes a player can receive for any match is 25.

Top 10

1st – Gary Ablett 126
2nd – David Swallow 106
3rd – Jack Martin 104
4th – Tom Lynch 101
5th – Aaron Hall 97
6th – Jarryd Lyons 91
7th – Jarrod Harbrow 79
8th – Touk Miller 70
9th – Steven May 66
10th – Adam Saad 64