Gary Ablett has released a statement after landing back at Geelong, thanking the fans and the wider community for their support after the death of his sister Tash.
In a letter for his website exclusiveinsight.com titled 'I'm Coming Home', Ablett wrote that his sister's "gentle spirit, her generosity, her humility and her big smile will never be forgotten".
He also expressed his joy, despite his grief, at returning to Geelong "during what has been a difficult and painful time".
Firstly, I’d like to thank both the Gold Coast Suns and the Geelong Football Club for your support this week after the passing of my much-loved sister Tash.
I’d also like to thank the fans, supporters and wider community for your thoughts, prayers and heartfelt words. The support has been overwhelming.
It saddens me deeply to have to say goodbye to my beautiful sister who will always be apart of our family. We will miss her everyday! Her gentle spirit, her generosity, her humility and her big smile will never be forgotten.
This week has been an emotional roller coaster, however, hearing that I will be returning home has brought both myself and my family some joy during what has been a difficult and painful time.
I’m excited to return to where it all began and to get around the club and my new teammates in due time.
I can still remember being super nervous as I made my way down to Simonds Stadium for the first time since becoming a Suns player. I had prepared myself for some serious booing and a really hard time.
However, when I stepped out onto the field, the Geelong crowd cheered me on and showed me nothing but support. I’m really looking forward to getting back and playing for them again!
For now, my family and I would like to thank everyone for your on-going respect of our privacy as we prepare to say a final goodbye to Tash.