No leadership group spot for Ablett

02 March 2018 06:13:49 EST

Geelong coach Chris Scott says Gary Ablett doesn't need an official title at the club in order to be a leader.

The returning superstar won't be in the Cats leadership group this year, Scott has revealed.

Though the 33-year-old will have a huge influence on the playing group, according to the coach, it will not come with a title.

Ablett was Gold Coast's captain between 2011-2016, and Scott says the younger players at Geelong had taken great heart in seeing his commitment to success.

"It has been really inspiring for me and particularly our young players to have him back and see how enthused he is to help the team have success," added the coach.

It has been really inspiring for me and particularly our young players to have him back.

Chris Scott

Scott says key premiership forward Tom Hawkins and midfielder Cam Guthrie, who were both part of the leadership group in 2017, have also decided to not be part of the group this season.

The Cats are yet to make an announcement but Joel Selwood is expected to be captain for a seventh successive season.

Patrick Dangerfield was another member of the leadership group last season, along with Harry Taylor, Mitch Duncan, Mark Blicavs and Scott Selwood.

Meanwhile, veteran Jarrad McVeigh could face another early-season absence for Sydney.

The 32-year-old has missed the season-opener each year since 2014 and is in danger of continuing that trend as he's still carrying the calf problem that has hampered him throughout the summer.

McVeigh, who was sidelined last season by a calf injury and then a hamstring problem, only made 13 appearances during the campaign - his lowest total in a decade.

Swans assistant coach Brett Kirk said: "He's been interrupted with his calf, but he's in a program. We're hoping over the next couple of weeks that he recovers pretty quickly - it's a bit of a question mark at this time.

"There have been no conversations about resting him at different times. We're just looking to get him fit and ready to go as soon as possible."

Sydney are 4/1 to win the Grand Final.

The Swans are 19/50 to win their first game of the season against West Coast, who are 11/5.

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