Cats count lucky stars after Ablett return
GARY Ablett's return to Geelong will encourage at least 5,000 more memberships as well as an extra two goals per game, says Cats chief executive Brian Cook.
Ablett was traded from the Gold Coast Suns to Geelong in the final hour of the trade period on Thursday.
While there was some conjecture as to whether the gamble to recruit the 33-year-old veteran - particularly given the retirements of Jimmy Bartel, Steve Johnson and Corey Enright - Cook told SEN the decision to bring Ablett home was unanimous.
"I'm talking list management, football department, even our finance department were pretty happy, given the contract Gary came back on was much less than what he was on last year," Cook said.
"He's come back for the right reasons and I think that's also been really attractive for the community and family first people.
"It's hard to place a figure on what it's going to do to us financially and commercially. My real gun guess is probably an extra 5000 members.
"Importantly I think it will be (worth) an extra two goals. The driver of Gary coming back is that he's played very good football over the past five years, not his age."
Geelong received Ablett, Pick 24 and a future fourth-round pick in exchange for Pick 19 and a future second-round pick that went to the Suns.
It was a result that ultimately favoured Geelong, given the Suns had previously said they'd only swap Ablett for a player or players.
While Cook said he was always confident the club would work out a way to secure Ablett, his confidence was tested as the 2pm trade deadline on Thursday drew near.
"There wasn't (any doubt) until the last couple of hours," Cook said.
"You've been negotiating for a year, it gets to the day and there's only an hour and a half to go and you still haven't done the deal.
"At the end of the day it was done.
"I probably didn't need to be too anxious about it, but I did personally get a little bit nervous about it."