Ablett, who stood down from his role as captain of the club late last year, was not part of the club’s leadership team when it was announced on Tuesday, with coach Rodney Eade revealing the two-time Brownlow Medalist did not want to be part of the group in 2017.
The former Geelong star has instead opted to focus on ensuring his troublesome shoulder is pain free as he tries to regain his best form following three injury interrupted seasons.
Mooney, Ablett’s former teammate at Geelong, says the 32-year-old made the right call for the best interests of the football club.
“He’s been captain of the club for six years since went up there in 2011. Carried the club for six years virtually,” Mooney said on SEN radio on Tuesday morning.
“It has been a massive burden on his shoulders to do that with such a young group. To be the face of AFL football in Queensland virtually. It’s been a big ask.
“It was the absolute right move and it’s a good move now that Gaz can just concentrate on footy this year. They need a massive year from him and they need a massive year as a footy club.”
Tom Lynch and Steven May will share the captaincy duties in 2017, while Touk Miller and Michael Barlow have been added to the leadership group this year, joining David Swallow, Michael Rischitelli and Matt Rosa in the seven man team.
“It’s the right time for these young players to take this club where it needs to go,” Mooney added.
“It’s up to them now. It’s not up to Gaz anymore to get 35 (disposals) and kick three goals and to carry them over the winning line. They can’t rely on him doing that anymore.
“It’s got to be this younger group that takes them up the ladder because the AFL has pumped so much money into this club. We look at what GWS is doing, they’ve done so well.”