K rock Football

Giant call gives Cats hope on TK

Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly. (Sports Media Image/Marcel Berens)

STEPHEN Coniglio’s decision to stay at GWS gives Geelong coach Chris Scott hope about the AFL future of All-Australian midfielder Tim Kelly.

West Coast and Fremantle are hovering with big offers for Kelly, who has flourished since making his AFL debut last year at the Cats.

Kelly is out of contract at the end of this season and he has met with the two WA clubs.

But Coniglio signed a monster seven-year deal with the Giants last week after the popular speculation had become that he would seek a return to Victoria.

“I think about it a lot – but it doesn’t help much, that’s the conclusion I’ve come to,” Scott said on Channel Nine’s Sunday Footy Show when asked about Kelly.

“The pattern over a period of years is a little less clear now and I think Stephen Coniglio is probably the best example.

“When we’re getting towards the end of the year and he still hasn’t signed, I was in the camp where I thought ‘well, surely he’s going’.

“So I’m always the optimist with these things and I’d love to have Tim in our team next year.”

Another big call once Geelong’s season ends is whether Gary Ablett continues playing next season.

The 35-year-old forward narrowly missed All-Australian selection last week and has played 21 out of 22 games.

“It’s always important that the club is put first, but my position right at the moment is that all things being equal, I can’t see any reason why he wouldn’t play on,” Scott said.

“When we talk about it being his call, it’s probably more the point that he may come to us and say ‘that’s enough’.

“I’m not seeing any signs of that, but we can’t force him to play if he doesn’t want to go on.”

Meanwhile, first-year forward Tom Atkins is likely to return for the Friday night qualifying final against Collingwood at the MCG.

Atkins missed round 23 because of a hand injury and is among several Cats pushing for senior recalls.

“He’d be hard to keep out of the team – I’ can’t come up with a logical argument to leave him out,” Scott said.

“But that probably goes for the bulk of the team that’s played for the last few weeks.”

© AAP 2019