After a seven-year stint on the Gold Coast which netted four best and fairest awards, a second Brownlow Medal and precious little in the way of team success, the superstar was traded back to his hometown club last month.
He will form part of a mouth-watering midfield alongside skipper Joel Selwood and Patrick Dangerfield, while also likely spending plenty of time in attack.
Ablett has signed a two-year contract but has left open the option of playing on if his body holds up.
“I’m 33 now and the body is still feeling really great,” he said today.
“I feel I have got some good years left in the midfield and then I may drift forward after that.
“I put a lot of time into my football, a lot of time into my preparation and my recovery.
“I have got a two-year contract and let’s see where the body is at and the head is at and make a decision from there.”
Injuries restricted Ablett to 15 games or fewer in each of his last four seasons with the Suns but he has set himself the target of playing every match for the Cats in 2018.
He will begin pre-season training a couple of weeks ahead of schedule in mid-November.
Ablett insisted he had no regrets about leaving the Cats at the end of 2010 to become the inaugural captain of the Suns, even though they were unable to play finals during his time there.
The wish to be closer to family was a major motivation in his decision to seek a trade back, especially with the death of older sister Natasha in October.
“There has been a fair bit go on in the last month or so which you guys know about,” he told reporters.
“The second thing is, I love this football club; it is the football club I grew up supporting.
“Obviously I moved away seven years ago, I felt that was something I needed to do for me but I’m super-excited to come back.
“The club has made the preliminary final in the last two years so I feel like I can offer a lot to the list with my experience and football ability.”
Ablett was a key member of the Geelong teams which won the 2007 and 2009 flags, although he was in his first year with the Suns when the Cats saluted again in 2011.
Selwood, Tom Hawkins, Harry Taylor, Mitch Duncan and Dan Menzel are the only five players still on the Cats’ list who have previously played in the blue and white hoops alongside Ablett.
The club has yet to decide which number Ablett will don in 2018.
Cam Guthrie now wears his old No.29, while Nakia Cockatoo sports the No.5 made famous by Gary Ablett senior.
We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.
InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.