Cats love low-profile Kelly in AFL - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Cats love low-profile Kelly in AFL

Roger Vaughan 03/09/2011 04:01:55 PM Comments (0)

Geelong coach Chris Scott and the rest of the AFL club know how good James Kelly is, but they're somewhat bemused many outside the club don't.

Kelly was best on ground in Friday night's surprise 96-point demolition of Collingwood at the MCG, shutting down Magpies star Scott Pendlebury in the second term and having a massive impact himself.

He is a lesser light in a midfield that used to boast Gary Ablett and still features stars such as Joel Selwood and Jimmy Bartel.

Kelly will go close to winning Geelong's best and fairest award this year.

"It baffles that he doesn't have a higher profile, because we think he's probably been in our best two or three players this year," Scott said.

"He's never been All-Australian. I find that hard to believe as well.

"But he's a really important part of a big midfield group and it's always been a strength of Geelong, long before I arrived."

The Cats could add to their midfield for Friday night's qualifying final against arch-rivals Hawthorn, with Joel Corey a chance to return from a groin injury.

Tom Lonergan and Mathew Stokes will also be in line for recalls after missing Friday night with minor injuries.

Harry Taylor was subbed off after halftime with a minor quad muscle problem, but again, is not expected to be in any doubt.

The healthy state of his playing list was much more important to Scott than the surprise ease of Friday night's win.

"That (no serious injuries from the game) is the most important thing - you can believe in signs and omens and form and all those sorts of things," Scott said.

"I don't think that means very much at all.

"Even if we'd played poorly tonight, we'd still be going into a finals series really comfortable with our preparation, knowing our best football is good enough.

"Nothing has happened tonight to change that."

Scott is also not reading too much into Geelong's two wins over Collingwood this year - the only times the reigning premiers have lost this season.

"We beat Hawthorn twice as well but, if we lose to them next (Saturday), that's going to mean a lot more," he said.

Scott also praised young forward Daniel Menzel, who starred on Friday night with five goals.

"He's developing into a complete player," Scott said.

"We played him in defence a fair bit this year and we're confident he can play through the midfield.

"But as a forward, he's really competitive and very hard to beat one-on-one and wins the ball in a contest, which we love at Geelong."

In further good news for the Cats, Bartel has signed a four-year contract extension with the club.

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