Main content

Manager: Kelly loves Cats

Kelly lights up SCG Tim Kelly was prolific against the Swans on Thursday night
Tim Kelly will wait to make a long term decision on his future - Geelong Cats,Tim Kelly
Tim Kelly will wait to make a long term decision on his future

BOOM draftee Tim Kelly is expected to see out the second year of his Geelong contract in 2019 as his management explores options to make him a Cat long-term. 

Kelly, 23, has burst onto the scene in his debut season, making a seamless transition from a Perth electrical apprentice to play every game in a star-studded Cats midfield.

The South Fremantle junior remains undecided about his future with Fremantle and West Coast jostling to bring him home with more than a year to run on his initial two-year deal.

Kelly's management remains in open dialogue with the Cats about a multi-year extension that was pitched earlier in the season and remains on the table.

Coach Chris Scott said he was "confident" Kelly wanted to remain a Cat on Monday, something his manager Anthony Van Der Wielen said his client was working through.

"I've made them aware Fremantle and West Coast are interested, they've (Geelong) made it clear they want him to stay," the Perth-based agent told AFL.com.au on Monday. 

"I know (from a) football point of view, Tim would love to stay but we've all agreed (management and Geelong) to keep talking because we're in no real hurry.

"At the moment, he's there this season and next season, whether he likes it or not … and he loves it. An AFL contract, when you go into the draft, you have two years at the club."

"Nothing is definitive because player movement has changed so much. If it goes to trade week (this year) and Geelong can get a player they want for Tim in a deal with West Coast or Fremantle then who knows. But that's not in our plans."

Kelly continues to adjust to life in Geelong with partner Caitlin and their three children, all under the age of three.

Ongoing negotiations with the Cats include a number of possibilities from extra time in Perth mid-season to more allowance for family flights to support the couple in Geelong.

"They've shown incredible care for a young family who are (saying), 'We're really appreciative, we're really thankful, but we're just not wanting to make a decision right now'," Van Der Wielen said.

"It's not all about money or terms (length of deal), it's about how Geelong make it comfortable for Tim and his young family to stay in Geelong.

"I have regular conversations with (Geelong list manager) Stephen Wells, (head of football) Simon Lloyd and (chief executive) Brian Cook when I'm in town or they're in Perth.

"Geelong are very comfortable with where it's at, I'm very comfortable with where it's at and so are Tim and Caitlin."

Kelly has averaged 22 disposals in his first 15 games after he was overlooked by West Coast and Fremantle with a combined total of 71 picks between 2012-2016.

Geelong coach Chris Scott has previously admitted Kelly's year has surpassed all expectations and is hopeful he sees his future at GMHBA Stadium.

"I don't think he's homesick, but if he is and he's playing this way, I hope he stays homesick for a while," Scott said with a grin on Monday.

"He is contracted to us, we would like him to stay long term.

"I think it's clear when you have a player who's come from interstate and playing really well, the clubs in that state would be interested in him.

"As far as I can see, it's (negotiations) all going pretty well, and my expectation is that Tim will play for us for a long time.

"I'm very confident that Tim wants to play with Geelong but there are circumstances we're considerate of.

"He's got a young family, three young kids and it's a bit more of a challenge in moving away and playing AFL footy but it doesn't seem to be impacting his performances on the field too much."

Kelly was selected by Geelong with pick No.24 in the 2016 NAB AFL Draft.

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of the AFL or its clubs