Kelly prefers to stay with Cats than join Dock­ers in­stead of Ea­gles

NT News - - SPORT -

TIM Kelly will spend an­other year at Gee­long rather than head to Fre­man­tle de­spite the Dock­ers’ at­tempts to gate­crash his trade with West Coast.

Fre­man­tle has al­ready of­fered pick 11 to Gee­long for the bril­liant first-year 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 only ac­cept a top-10 se­lec­tion in re­turn for the sparkling mid­fielder, but Fre­man­tle’s pick 11 would likely seal the deal.

But Kelly has in­di­cated he would play at Gee­long for an­other year, aware his part­ner and chil­dren would only re­turn to the city in Jan­uary and be gone again by Septem­ber as he re­quested a trade again. They have three young chil­dren and no im­me­di­ate fam­ily sup­port around them de­spite chal­leng­ing cir­cum­stances, with West Coast CEO Trevor Nis­bett say­ing 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.”

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