Afl News

Danger expects big year from Kelly

Danger expects big year from Kelly

GEELONG superstar Patrick Dangerfield expects Tim Kelly to take his game to another level with the Cats in 2019, despite the mature-aged recruit being denied an AFL trade to West Coast.

After a remarkable debut season when he finished second in the Geelong best and fairest award, Kelly asked to be traded back to his home state of WA for family reasons despite having a year to run on his current deal.

But the Cats played hard-ball and refused the Eagles’ offer as it didn’t include a future first-round draft pick.

Kelly was the only high-profile player this season who had publicly requested a trade not to get to the club of his choice.

The 24-year-old midfielder is again expected to seek a move to West Coast at the end of the 2019 campaign when he comes off-contract.

The full Geelong squad began pre-season training on Tuesday, with Dangerfield noting that all of the players were glad to catch up with Kelly at the screening day.

“We’ve just got to support him in every way we can and I feel we’ve done that in his first season,” the 28-year-old Dangerfield told reporters.

“He had an unbelievable first year as a first-year player, albeit as a mature- age player.

“We expect him, and he expects himself to go to another level again, and we’ve got to make sure that we provide the environment to do that.

“He’s a very, very special player and we’ve got to make sure he continues to perform that way.”

The Cats bowed out in the first week of the finals to resurgent Melbourne, but Dangerfield said expectations remained as high as ever for 2019.

“They always have been and they always will be,” said the 2016 Brownlow medallist.

“We’ve got to prepare ourselves as best as we possibly can.

“I’m not going to put a top-four or top-eight (expectation) – but we’re here to compete for a premiership.”

© AAP 2018