As we are in the mist of the annual interleague carnival AFL Victoria Metro Junior Championships, it is great to hear of a former-interleague player taking leaps and bounds 0n the national AFL stage.
Josh Kelly, an esteemed alumni of the East Brighton Vampires JFC, demonstrated his midfield skills out on the park. They obviously gained enough attention in his junior career to be selected for the SMJFL Stars representative side. He played 7 games total for the ‘Stars’ across both the Under 14 and Under 15 squads.
He reached his 50-game milestone at the Vampires, where he developed his love for playing both inside and outside roles in the mid.
These skills led him to be No.2 draft pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft.
Kelly’s team, the GWS Giants, are in blistering form so far this year, and will take on the Sydney Swans in a Sunday twilight blockbuster at Spotless Stadium. This will be one of the matches of the round in the AFL, and Kelly is looming as a key to the Giants’ chances of victory.
Read more about his latest form, and valued mentors below.
This article first appeared on afl.com.au
by Adrian Warren
EXTRA weight and tips from two of the best midfielders of recent times are turning GWS Giants youngster Josh Kelly into a midfield force in the AFL.
Just short of the halfway stage of the campaign, 21-year-old Kelly is on track to record career-best season tallies in the most significant categories for a midfielder.
He has been in red-hot form of late, racking up at least 26 touches in five of his last six games.
Kelly hasn’t notched fewer than 17 possessions in a game all year, and his season average of 23 disposals is six higher than he achieved in the 2014 and 2015 campaigns.
Tutored by former midfield stars and Giants assistant coaches Luke Power and Lenny Hayes, Kelly put on three kilograms in the off-season to move to 82kg in a bid to earn more time as an inside midfielder.
“I’ve been a pretty light frame over the last couple of years and I think when I came to the club I was about 73(kg), so it’s been a fair change,” Kelly said.
“Over the pre-season I’ve just tried to put a bit of weight on because my goal is to eventually be an inside and outside midfielder, so I’ve been working on my contested ball, a few things around stoppages.
“I’ve been doing that with Lenny Hayes and Luke Power, just a few of the tricks they used to use when they were playing.”
Kelly, the No.2 pick in the 2013 NAB AFL Draft, said as a junior he prided himself in being able to play both inside and outside roles.
“But coming into AFL there’s a lot bigger bodies and a lot more physicality, it’s something I’ve had to adjust to and I feel like I’m slowly getting used to it,” he said.
“The last few games have been a lot better.
“The big goal for me was while putting on weight is maintaining my running ability, because that’s always been a big strength of mine.”