GWS coach Leon Cameron won’t shy away from speculation about Josh Kelly’s AFL future but hopes to nip it in the bud before the 2019 season starts.
The Giants fended off significant interest from rival clubs – including a nine-year, $10 million offer from North Melbourne – to re-sign Kelly on a two-year deal in 2017.
The sharks are bound to come circling again this season for the 23-year-old midfielder.
But Cameron said contract negotiations were in a “really good position”, well ahead of where they were this time two years ago.
“We feel as though we’re in a really good space and I think it’s really going to start heating up,” he told SEN on Tuesday.
“Two years ago, it probably took until two-thirds of the way through the year.
“Hopefully from my point of view, from a selfish point of view, we can get it done before the season starts.”
But Cameron insisted the Giants wouldn’t issue a contract timeline to Kelly, who missed the club’s 10-point semi-final loss to Collingwood last year due to a knee injury.
GWS cleared millions in salary cap space over the 2018 off-season, trading away Dylan Shiel (Essendon), Rory Lobb (Fremantle), Will Setterfield (Carlton) and Tom Scully (Hawthorn).
That extra room might be needed to re-sign A-graders Kelly and Stephen Coniglio as well as foundation players Adam Tomlinson and Nick Haynes – all off contract at the end of 2019.
© AAP 2019