GOLD Coast Suns coach Rodney Eade has leapt to the defence of Gary Ablett, saying the star Suns midfielder was totally engaged and had the club's full support.
In a television interview on Channel 9 on Thursday night, Ablett reiterated previous comments that personal matters had clouded his future beyond 2017, despite having a further year to run on his contract.
Eade said questioning the 32-year-old's form or commitment was unfair.
"Off field he's very engaged," Eade said.
"He's a very caring individual.
"He cares about his teammates, he's spending a lot of time with younger players on the track, helping (co-captains Steven) May and (Tom) Lynch as well.
"Certainly off field he's been terrific.
"We've only played two games. People tend to be throwing barbs a bit after two games.
"He equalled for the (Marcus Ashcroft) Medal in round one, so from my point of view he played very well, and he's had a poor one at the weekend."
Eade said the Suns would make contingencies for their list whatever happened with Ablett at year's end, as they did following last season when Dion Prestia and Jaeger O'Meara asked for trades.
In the meantime however, he said Gold Coast was fully supportive of the two-time Brownlow medallist.
"We will support Gary and continue to support him football-wise and matters off the field as well," Eade said.
"We'd like people to respect the personal nature of some things in his life off-field, and we won't be commenting or speculating on that."
Following last Saturday's 16-disposal performance in a 102-point loss against GWS, Ablett was widely criticised for looking disinterested – a claim Eade also says was unfair.
"You could probably aim that at a few other players as well," he said.
"I've spoken to Gary this week, he's very keen to play well, he's got a lot of pride, he's been a great player."