Geelong assistant coach James Kelly spoke to the media for the first time in 2024 this week.

Here are some of the key takeaways.

Forecasting Round One

I wouldn't say there will be major changes to the team, we still have a lot of preseason left and practice games against Carlton and Essendon to go. 

We always like to think that our team is evolving constantly, which we believe will lead to our round one team being as strong as it can be. 

What we want to be able to do is to give everyone an opportunity to put their best foot forward, whether that's a first year player or an older player. We want to make everyone feel like they can contribute, and where that lands we aren't really sure just yet.


Jhye Clark & Toby Conway

Jhye has been a bit unlucky but we are really excited about what he can bring to the group. 

We don't want to put too many expectations on him, but in terms of who he is as a person and a player, we are excited about him getting a clean run at it.

I think Toby is in a similar category to Jhye, he is enjoying being out there. 

He had a few niggles the past couple of seasons, had been in and out a little bit but he is happy to be out there training. He is certainly playing some good footy, and he is another one that we don't want to put a ceiling on what he is capable of. 

The First Year Players

The first year players are all going really well. Oli Wiltshire was sort of picked from nowhere down at Barwon Heads, but we are really impressed with what he has been able to do. 

Mitch Edwards has been really great, George Stevens is a really determined and driven kid, Connor O'Sullivan is really athletic and brings a different dynamic to the team as well. 

Where those kids end up fitting in throughout the 2024 season, we don't know but we don't have a ceiling on what they can achieve as players. We are happy to let them go and see what they can do, but try to guide them along the way as best we can.


Cam Guthrie

He looks really good. 

He is unbelievably professional and diligent, he had some time away at the end of last year and has come back as a really happy person who was ready to train. 

It was a really long year for him, he had a niggling injury that he couldn't get over and it's one of the worst periods of time for any player to go through. He has come back this preseason training really well, looking really good to my eye and he is really happy to set the standard. He has come back fresh and is helping some of the younger players, which is all we can ask of him.

Jack Henry

He looks good. He has been really happy, he had a few problems last year but the time he has had to prepare for this season has been a nice steady build across the preseason. 

We feel really confident with where he is, and he feels confident too and every session he looks better and moves better. We still have a bit of time to get through, but at this stage we are very comfortable with where he is at. 

Shaun Mannagh

He is good, I can see why he got picked up. 

We watched him year last year and how impactful he was for Werribee at VFL level, he has got good speed and has a great head on his shoulders. 

He understands the game really well, it's a bit of a different beast being at an AFL club full time. He just looked a part of the organisation really quickly, looks like he belongs and he is a great learner who wants to get better all the time. Where he lands is sort of up to him, but we are really impressed with him.