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Kelly continues to amaze

Tim Kelly was a revelation in the midfield last year, finishing equal second in the club's best and fairest. - Geelong Cats,Tim Kelly,Chris Scott
Tim Kelly was a revelation in the midfield last year, finishing equal second in the club's best and fairest.

Geelong coach Chris Scott says Tim Kelly continues to "amaze" with his ability to deal with off-field family demands.

After three weeks in WA over Christmas and another fleeting trip home at the end of January, Kelly is back at the Cats ready to attack his second year.

Having knocked back the West Coast Eagles' offer for Kelly last October, the Cats are prepared to park conversations with their star midfielder until later this year as he comes out of contract.

"(We'll) probably (wait), but mainly because it's a really hard one to forecast," Scott told AFL.com.au.

"I could absolutely lay my best forecast on the table and it could be way off.

"The smartest thing to do is just to focus on what we've got in front of us this year.

"I'm extremely comfortable with where it's all ended up. Where that ends in six months or nine months, it's a bit hard to say."

Scott said the Cats would continue to support Kelly as he and partner Caitlin manage three kids under the age of four.

"I am (amazed)," Scott said of Kelly's commitment.

"There's a lot of people who struggle to compartmentalise their life the way Tim does but to be fair, a lot of the high performers are able to separate the things that may be troubling them.

"Footy can be a bit of an outlet for that stuff as well. Tim loves training and he just loves footy, and would play how I suspect he did when he was a little kid.

"We run a very flexible program, from what I can gather, in comparison to some other environments out there.

"High-care players have high needs and we've got to be highly flexible with them. It becomes a lot easier to be flexible with players who have an exceptional work ethic.

"We're not in a situation where we're having to make compromises with the work Tim gets in because he just ticks every box."

"Most people who have kids, albeit they've got twins plus another young one, will understand that 12 months in it's a little easier than that first year and that's the way it's going for Tim.

Another boost for Kelly has been the move of his cousin to Geelong, to further assist the Kelly family with their home life as the midfielder focuses on football.

On-field, Kelly is poised for a similar role in 2019 after proving a revelation in the midfield last year to finish equal second in the club's best and fairest.

"We didn't have a view that when we drafted him that Tim would be an onballer in our team and by the first game he was," Scott said.

"If he had any inkling as to where he might play, given Steven Motlop went to Port Adelaide, then it was probably as a high forward.

"We haven't done it that much but we're confident he's got the capacity to do that. There will be very few players who will be prioritised above him in the midfield mix."

Kelly will have another opportunity for a visit home when the Cats kickstart their JLT Community Series against West Coast on March 1, before hosting Essendon on March 7.

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