Mason Cox. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)
Mason Cox. (Photo by Quinn Rooney/Getty Images)

First trade of AFL silly season is a monster

TIM Kelly is officially an Eagle.

Geelong and West Coast agreed to a trade for the star Cats midfielder on Wednesday, sending him home to Western Australia where he wants to settle his young family.

Kelly, who made an immediate impact after being picked up by Geelong as a mature-age recruit, finishing runner-up in the club's best and fairest in both seasons, has signed a six-year contract worth in the vicinity of $5 million.

"We're very relieved and happy for Tim to get back home," Kelly's manager Anthony Van Der Wielen told AFL Trade Radio. "He really did like playing at Geelong, it just didn't sit well with the family."

West Coast will send picks 14, 24 and 37 in this year's draft plus its first round selection in 2020 in exchange for the 24-year-old, pick 57 in this year's draft and a third-round 2020 selection.

"The selections we have secured will give us the best opportunity to add high-end talent to our list in the upcoming national draft," Cats recruiting manager Stephen Wells said.

Essendon played a small hand in the deal, shelling out picks 37 and 52 in exchange for 33 and 57. Pick 37 went to the Cats - which they are expected to use to land midfielder Jack Stevens from St Kilda - and pick 52 went to the Eagles.

Kelly said he was ecstatic for the move back closer to his family and said his partner, Caitlin, was overjoyed the deal had gone through.

"Tears of joy. Like a weight has been taken off her shoulders. Thrilled. Rapt. She can't wait to get our boys in their West Coast gear," Kelly said.

Tim Kelly is saying goodbye to the Cats. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)
Tim Kelly is saying goodbye to the Cats. (Photo by Michael Willson/AFL Photos via Getty Images)

In other news stemming from the trade period:

MASON COX has declared reports Essendon approached Collingwood about trading for the ruckman as fake news. But The Age's Sam McClure stood by his reporting, saying it was "1000 per cent accurate". "I'm not sure why Essendon is denying something that has happened," McClure told AFL Trade Radio. "This is the same club that rang me after the (Joe) Daniher story saying we'd be embarrassed by (reporting) it. Two months later he asked to be traded to Sydney. People can believe what they want to believe.

"Essendon went after (Patrick) Ryder. He chose St Kilda. Essendon has made it clear they would like another ruckman. Cox plays in the ruck. The Bombers approached Collingwood about what it would take to get him to Essendon, because they need a ruckman."


TOM NICHOLLS has retired. The Gold Coast ruckman called time after 45 games in the AFL at the age of 27. He had not played a game since 2016 as the arrival of Jarrod Witts stalled his career.

JON PATTON won't be going to Hawthorn for nothing, GWS list manager Jason McCartney says. "We're working closely with the Hawks on that," McCartney told AFL Trade Radio. "We'll work towards what's fair and reasonable. Physically he's absolutely flying … we do want to make sure we get something back."