No Eagles deal, so Kelly to stay
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.