GEELONG, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 01: Jimmy Bartel of the Cats shakes hands with Gary Ablett of the Suns before the start of the round ten AFL match between the Geelong Cats and the Gold Coast Suns at Simonds Stadium on June 1, 2013 in Geelong, Australia. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

Bartel would’ve been upset if Ablett returned to Geelong 2017

Retired Geelong champion Jimmy Bartel says he would have been disappointed if Gold Coast captain Gary Ablett returned to Geelong 2017.

Bartel would certainly like to see Ablett in Geelong colours once again, however, he would also have loved to have lined up with his mate one more.

If Ablett has joined Geelong in the recent trade period, Bartel, who announced his retirement at the end of the 2016 season, would have missed out on the opportunity to play with Gazza once again at the Cats.

“I would have been a little bit upset, in a way, that I wouldn’t have had the chance to play with him again,” Bartel said on RSN radio on Thursday.

“We played together at the Geelong Falcons and spent nine years playing footy at the Cats and I would’ve loved to have had another run around with him.

“I actually thought he was there [on the Gold Coast] for good, I thought Gold Coast is his life and maybe he might come back and forth from Melbourne once he retired,” Bartel added.

“I genuinely got the impression that Gold Coast was his place where he was going to put down his roots, but obviously not.

“But then you thought … if you couldn’t get [Brett] Deledio over the line with salary cap [pressures] then you’re not getting Gazza over the line. I don’t think he’s taking a $1 million pay cut.”

Ablett reportedly requested a trade back to Geelong at the beginning of the trade year, only for his request to be rejected by the Suns.