GEELONG recruit Tim Kelly says he is focussed on making the most of his “life changing” opportunity after being picked up in Friday’s national draft with pick 24.
The 23-year-old will make the move to Kardinya Park on Wednesday to link up with the 2017 preliminary finalists.
“It’s unbelievable,” he said of the chance to join an AFL club.
“This is something I’ve worked towards my whole life and to have made it a reality, I can’t really put it into words.
“Hard work and dedication has got me here.
“I plan on making something of myself at the next level so I know that the hard work has only just started.”
Kelly will form part of a stacked Cats midfield featuring skipper Joel Selwood, 2016 Brownlow medallist Patrick Dangerfield and the returning Gary Ablett Junior.
He joins having played a major role in South Fremantle’s run to a preliminary final in 2017, kicking 26 goals for the season and averaging 26 disposals from 23 games.
“You’re happy to play any role for the team,” Kelly said.
“I’ve demonstrated at WAFL level I’m a consistent midfielder but given the opportunity I’d be happy to go forward.”
Kelly’s pregnant partner and two-year-old son will remain in Perth, before both settle in Victoria next year.
The 2017 Sandover Medal runner-up and second-placed finisher in the race for the W.J. Hughes Medal as South Fremantle’s fairest and best, said balancing family and the move was just part of the game.
“There’s a bigger picture,” he said.
“This is life changing.”
Kelly, who played 93 league games for the Bulldogs, thanked the WAFL outfit for helping him achieve his goal and said he would be keeping a close eye on their fortunes from the east.
Bulldogs football operations manager David Depane said the club could not be more happy.
“We’re really pleased for Tim and think Geelong is a great fit,” he said.
“He’ll learn a lot from their midfield – with Selwood, Dangerfield and Ablett.”
Depane said it was exciting to see Ryan Burrows get an opportunity at West Coast via Monday’s rookie draft, while Sandover medallist Haiden Schloithe was disappointed at being overlooked but focussed on helping deliver the Bulldogs a premiership.