If his Instagram page is something to go by, the early days of footy retirement have treated Gary Ablett Jr well.
Ablett has been making the most of his newly discovered free time with a disrupted footy season that saw the Geelong journey back and forth between the AFL’s hub in Queensland and Victoria, where he recovered from an early-season injury with wife Jordan and son Levi finally behind him.
As families of AFL players were invited to join them at the league’s hub many months ago, the family seems to have taken a liking to Queensland, with Ablett sharing a family snap on Instagram titled ‘A fun day spent at Turtle Bay with the family.’
Fans liked the update, which was posted to Facebook as well.
“Beautiful photo of a beautiful family,” Marlene Taylor wrote.
After a rough start to the year, a family holiday is going to be something of a break for the family.
With the death of Jordan ‘s mother Trudy and the diagnosis of ‘Levi’ with a rare degenerative disorder combining for an exhausting few months, the AFL season was the least of their concerns.
Jordan opened up about the turbulent year and how the family had banded together through it prior to Ablett’s last AFL game in the grand final.
“It was really, really hard. Because the diagnosis came when mum was towards the end of her journey … we just had a lot of things happen all at once,” Jordan said on Channel 9.
“So yeah, we are in this together and it is what it is. And yeah, we are just taking it day by day.”
The 34-year-old said despite the tragic nature of Levi’s degenerative health condition, he remains a happy boy, with a bubbly personality.
“He’s doing well. He does have his challenges that we as a family are facing on a day-to-day basis,” Jordan said.
“But in saying that he’s so determined, and like you said, he’s just so smiley and has such a joy for life.”