No Ea­gles deal, so Kelly to stay

Geelong Advertiser - - SPORT - JON RALPH

TIM Kelly will spend an­other year at Gee­long rather than head to Fre­man­tle de­spite the Dock­ers’ bid to gate-crash his trade with West Coast.

Fre­man­tle has of­fered pick 11 to Gee­long for the bril­liant mid­fielder.

But Kelly’s man­ager An­thony Van der Wie­len said yes­ter­day it was Kelly’s de­ci­sion rather than his own to deal ex­clu­sively with West Coast, which has of­fered him a lu­cra­tive five-year deal.

The player man­ager who has of­fices in Fre­man­tle is good mates with new Dock­ers foot­ball boss Peter Bell, but said this week he did not want Kelly go­ing to that club.

West Coast has of­fered picks 20 and 22 — enough points to se­cure a top-10 pick.

Gee­long has said it will ac­cept a top-10 se­lec­tion only in re­turn for the 24-year-old, but Fre­man­tle’s pick 11 would likely seal the deal.

Kelly has in­di­cated he would play at Gee­long for an­other year, aware his part­ner and chil­dren would re­turn to the city in Jan­uary and be gone by Septem­ber when he asked for a trade again.

They have three young chil­dren and no nearby fam­ily sup­port de­spite chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances.

West Coast chief ex­ec­u­tive Trevor Nis­bett said this week it was a le­git­i­mate case of home­sick­ness.

“We went to Gee­long know­ing he was con­tracted and said he was hav­ing a hard time there,’’ Van der Wie­len said.

“He said if you could get some­thing for him he would love to go home, but he will only go to West Coast and if not he will see out his con­tract.

“I asked him if he wanted to have a chat to Peter Bell and he said, ‘I don’t want to do it’.

“He said, ‘I will stay at Gee­long or go to West Coast’, but I don’t want to go to a club down the bot­tom of the lad­der be­cause Gee­long is a good club.

“Peter and I are good friends, we own prop­erty and race­horses to­gether and we are very good friends, but Tim doesn’t want to go to Fre­man­tle.”

Spend­ing an­other sea­son at Gee­long would not cost Kelly fi­nan­cially be­cause his wages for his sec­ond sea­son are set by the col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing agree­ment.

Ear­lier at­tempts by West Coast to trade picks 20 and 22 for Syd­ney’s pick 13 were thwarted by Carl­ton’s Mitch McGovern trade, but there re­mains plenty of time for West Coast to trade those two picks for a suit­able se­lec­tion.

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