IT WOULD be daunting to carry the moniker 'son of God' without having played an AFL game.
But Gary Ablett jnr has cemented his own place in football folklore, playing his way out of his father's shadow to win two Brownlows.
One of the greatest players of his generation, Ablett is on the verge of becoming the 'best and fairest player' to reach 300 games.
The 33-year-old will have the highest total of Brownlow votes of any player in their 300th game when he takes the field for the Suns against St Kilda on Sunday afternoon.
The midfield master was a key component of Geelong's 2007 and 2009 premierships, before famously moving to Gold Coast for its inaugural season in 2011.
A hard-earned 300
Ablett played his 250th game in round 20, 2013, having raced to the milestone in 12 seasons from a possible 278 games.
But his next 50 games have taken almost four years, coming from a possible 83 games.
Shoulder surgery (2014) and knee surgery (2015), and a dislocated shoulder (2016) wrecked his past three seasons.
Despite these struggles, Ablett's freakish ability to hit the scoreboard from unlikely spots and overall excellent form in the past few months ensures he continues to be a vital cog for the Suns' midfield.
The stats within the streak
Ablett hasn't got to 300 games by being an average player. These remarkable stats show why he can comfortably claim to be one of the best midfielders of all time. He is:
• No.2 overall for inside 50s
• No.2 overall for contested possessions
• No.5 overall for goal assists
• No.6 overall for clearances
• No.7 overall for handballs
• No.8 overall for tackles
• No.10 overall for disposals
With nine touches this week he will leapfrog Simon Black into No.9 overall for disposals. And with two tackles he will pass former teammate Jimmy Bartel to move No.7 overall for tackles.
Good genes: Gary Ablett jnr and Gary snr celebrate the Cats' 2009 flag. Picture: AFL Photos
Who's next best?
Some of the game's most decorated current players follow Ablett on the list of career games.
|Matthew Boyd||Western Bulldogs||290|
|Leigh Montagna||St Kilda||282|
Fast fact: If Ablett’s career stopped right now he would be the first player to ever finish on 299 games.
The Chaser: Can a Giant bounce his way into history?
Greater Western Sydney defender Heath Shaw is the AFL's road-runner; he never stops moving.
And Shaw is on well on the way to an unusual milestone – 850 running bounces.
He presently sits on 839, second highest of all-time and the most of any current player, but is well behind all-time leader Brent Harvey (1055).
It's clear the bouncing practice was common at the Shaw household, with older brother Rhyce in third spot.
Notorious Gold Coast bouncer Adam Saad leads the charge for bounces this season with 55.
Heath gets his chance to reach the milestone when the Giants take on the Brisbane Lions on Saturday evening.
The match will also be Shaw's 250th AFL game and keeps the Shaw clan on track to be the first footy family to break the 1000-game mark.
|Brent Harvey||North Melbourne||1055|
|Robert Murphy*||Western Bulldogs||612|
|Ryan Griffen*||GWS/Western Bulldogs||572|
|David Rodan||Melbourne/Port Adelaide/Richmond||567|
|Nick Dal Santo||North Melbourne/St Kilda||523|
Text: Sarah Black | Designs: Kahla Emonson | Stats: Cameron Sinclair