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SUPERSTAR midfielder Gary Ablett has written an emotional tribute to his late sister and thanked Gold Coast and Geelong for letting him finish his career where it began.
The Cats traded pick No.19 and a future second-round pick to secure Ablett, selection No.24 and a 2018 fourth-round choice in a deal that brought an end to his seven-season stint at the Suns.
Ablett, 33, played 110 games for Gold Coast, but unsuccessfully sought a trade back to Geelong last year and speculation was rife all season he would try again.
The dual Brownlow medallist listed private family issues as the chief reason he wanted to return to the Cats and only last week Ablett's older sister Natasha died in unsuspicious circumstances.
Ablett revealed his appreciation for the trade on his new website Exclusive Insight, thanking both of his clubs, his fans and the wider community for their support in the last week.
"It saddens me deeply to have to say goodbye to my beautiful sister who will always be a part of our family," he wrote.
"We will miss her every day! Her gentle spirit, her generosity, her humility and her big smile will never be forgotten.
"This week has been an emotional rollercoaster, however, hearing that I will be returning home has brought both myself and my family some joy during what has been a difficult and painful time.
"I'm excited to return to where it all began and to get around the club and my new teammates in due time."
Ablett, who played pivotal roles in Geelong’s 2007 and 2009 flags, headed north to join the Suns on a lucrative deal ahead of the 2011 season and recalled feeling "super nervous" before his first match back at Simonds Stadium.
"I had prepared myself for some serious booing and a really hard time," he wrote.
"However, when I stepped out onto the field, the Geelong crowd cheered me on and showed me nothing but support. I'm really looking forward to getting back and playing for them again!
"For now, my family and I would like to thank everyone for your ongoing respect of our privacy as we prepare to say a final goodbye to Tash."