Cats confident Kelly won't have trade blues
GEELONG is confident Tim Kelly can repeat this year's on-field heroics next season despite blocking his trade request to West Coast.
The Cats made the bold call to keep Kelly, 24, even though he asked to return home to be closer to his family in Western Australia.
West Coast offered picks No.20 and No.22 and a future second-round pick for Kelly, but the Cats wanted a future first-round pick included in the deal.
West Coast list chief Brady Rawlings said Kelly "was disappointed" a deal was not struck and was adamant the Eagles would revisit the situation in 12 months.
Geelong list manager Stephen Wells said a deal was always unlikely and backed Kelly to give his all for the Cats again next season.
"Tim is a tremendous professional, he has only been in the system one year but he fronts up and plays great footy most weeks and we are very confident of that," Wells said.
"If we weren't confident of that we may have been a little bit more inclined to do the deal.
"But from our point of view, and from the discussions we have had with Tim over the last couple of weeks there is no doubt he will front up and play well for us."
Geelong wanted either a top-10 pick this year, or a future first-round pick for next year's draft included alongside the two second-rounders in the deal.
The Cats were adamant Kelly's brilliant performances this season - where he finished second in the best-and-fairest - commanded more blue-chip draft choices.
Especially considering he will play a major midfield role on the bargain-basement salary of about $200,000 next season, making him probably the best-value player in the league.
But it was a frustrating result for the dashing midfielder whose partner, Caitlin Miller, and their three young children are expected to spend a large chunk of the pre-season back home in Perth.
Rawlings said the Eagles made a strong play for Kelly, but conceded it was not enough to satisfy the Cats.
"The sticking point was Geelong rate him just as highly as we do and we put forward a really strong position on day one and we improved that position throughout the trade period," Rawlings said.
"But we just couldn't go any further for our footy club.
"We will monitor the situation with Tim next year if he is still in the same mindset and needing to get home.
"I'm disappointed for Tim because he expressed desire to want to come home to our club but we couldnt get a deal done."