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The son of Australian Football Hall of Fame member and former Geelong player Gary Ablett Sr., Gary Ablett Junior was drafted to Geelong under the father–son rule in the 2001 AFL draft. He made his debut in 2002 and has since become recognised as one of the all-time great VFL/AFL midfielders.
Regarded by many as the greatest player of the modern era, Ablett is a dual premiership player, a dual NAB Cup winner, a dual Brownlow Medallist, a record five-time recipient of the Leigh Matthews Trophy as the AFL Players Association's Most Valuable Player, a three-time recipient of the AFL Coaches Association 'Champion Player of the Year' award, and an eight-time All-Australian. He was also a two-time Carji Greeves Medallist, is a life member of Geelong FC, and had been inducted into the Geelong's Hall of Fame.
Ablett became the inaugural captain of the Gold Coast Football Club in 2011, and held the role until the end of the 2016 season. He is a four-time winner of the Gold Coast Suns Club Champion award, receiving the first three editions of the award and again in 2017. He won the club's first and only Brownlow Medal in 2013.
Returning to the Geelong Football Club in 2018, Ablett played his 350th career game in July 2020.