DRAFT ANALYSIS: "The top mature age prospect has been the most consistent West Australian player for the last few years and is expected to finally get his chance at the elite level"
Tim Kelly is a 23 year-old inside midfielder who for the third year in a row turned heads for South Fremantle. After inconsistency plagued his junior career, Kelly has erased all doubts about his ability to compete at the highest West Australian state level. Playing for South Fremantle, Kelly starred as an inside midfielder who influenced the contest not only on the inside, but also up forward, booting seven goals in one game to add another string to his bow. He has no trouble racking up the ball, increasing his output substantially in 2017, and looks set to be selected in the second round. His main improvement is his kicking, which has already noticeably improved this season.
- Inside game
- Scoreboard impact
Kelly is a big-bodied inside midfielder who while not tall – he stands at just 182cm – has plenty of strength, which is an area he has worked on in the last 12 months. He is one of those players that has explosive power out of a stoppage which is all the rage in modern football, with Patrick Dangerfield and Dustin Martin – the two best in-form current players – having it. His ability to burst out of a stoppage and kick goals has been a highlight for the South Fremantle prospect as club recruiters always knew he could find the ball, but questioned whether he could use it effectively and do damage with ball in hand. He certainly has done that this season both through the midfield and up forward.
Additionally, Kelly has averaged 26.3 disposals, 4.3 marks and 3.7 tackles along with more than a goal per game. His numbers are well above those of his 2016 season, which was more consistent than his 2015 year. All in all, Kelly has been rapidly improving to the point of where he is now considered a lock to be drafted. More so, he is expected to impact immediately should a club – such as West Coast – wish to pick him to play straight on the inside.
Kelly’s main knock has been on his kicking and while it has improved this season, it is an area he can tidy up further. When coming out of a contest he always kicks forward, but sometimes can have to much focus on getting it forward rather than hitting that lateral kick inside 50 to a player in a better position. For a mature age player to be drafted as high as the second round, he would want to have very few improvements and Kelly is that rare prospect given he has produced all he can at WAFL level and with West Coast having so many picks in the second round, he has been picked to land at the Eagles with one of them.
DRAFT PROJECTION: 20-40
If we are talking fantasy football prospects for 2018, it is hard to look past Tim Kelly. He is a ready-made player who will impact straight away if required, and has that explosive power out of a stoppage which fans come to see. He wins plenty of inside ball and has no trouble finding the pill around the ground. His numbers have continued to increase this season after a steady increase last year and he finished runner-up in the Sandover Medal. Expect Kelly to be selected in the second round and finally be rewarded after after six years of trying to break into the AFL.