Twenty-five-year-old Geelong Cats midfield and forward superstar Tim Kelly has requested to move back to his home state with the West Coast Eagles confirming they have offered Kelly a five-year deal.
While West Coast was always considered the favourite to secure Kelly, there was previous speculation that he may go to the Fremantle Dockers. Kelly’s request earlier today has put the Dockers out of contention for the trade, no doubt to the disappointment of many at the club and fans of the team.
Kelly was originally a South Fremantle (WAFL) player being drafted in the 2017 national draft. He then made his debut in the opening round of the 2018 season in the three-point win against Melbourne at the MCG.
At the 2018 AFL Players’ Association Awards, Kelly was voted the Best First Year Player by his fellow players.
The move to West Coast would come a year after a bid by the Eagles was knocked back by Geelong.
When questioned about his return home to WA, Kelly let it slip: “I can’t really see myself anywhere else.”
On the potential trade, the Cats released a statement on Wednesday morning saying they wish to “explore all options” before reaching a deal to trade Kelly.
Kelly’s manager Anthony van Der Wielen said Kelly has been grateful to the Cats for providing many opportunities in the club.
“I know he is forever grateful for the opportunity the Geelong Football Club has given him and he has enjoyed being able to represent the club, something which I think we can all agree he has done to the best of his ability over the past two seasons,” Mr van Der Wielen said.
The Eagles have offered picks 14, 22, 32 and 59 in this year’s NAB AFL Draft in order to complete the trade with Geelong.
By Sharnae Watson