Kelly mega-deal is proof of AFL's big 'problem'

1 month ago 16
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AFL fable Leigh Matthews says the monster declaration hold awarded to Josh Kelly by the GWS Giants is indicative of the conflict the league's enlargement clubs face.

After pushing backmost the archetypal deadline connected his eight-year declaration trigger, Kelly opted successful to stay a Giant for what is apt to beryllium the remainder of his AFL career connected a woody which volition spot him marque an mean of $1 cardinal per twelvemonth done 2029.

While Kelly is an All-Australian and successful the premier of his career, Matthews suggested the woody could go problematic for the Giants successful the future.

"It says thing – and I've spoken astir this a mates of times – the Giants decidedly and 1 time possibly the Suns, retaining your endowment without blowing the wage headdress is virtually impossible," helium told 3AW's Sportsday.

Josh Kelly signed an eight-year hold which volition spot him stay astatine the Giants until helium is 34 (Getty)

"Because players successful those 2 markets person to get 20 to 30 per cent much than they astir apt are astatine different clubs to clasp the talent.

"It's a occupation that those 2 clubs person got and erstwhile volition it ever change?"

After a down twelvemonth successful 2020, Kelly has been 1 of the Giants' astir accordant midfield performers, peculiarly with nine skipper Stephen Coniglio missing a ample chunk of the year.

Despite his quality, Matthews believes the 26-year-old isn't rather successful the million-dollar subordinate tier.

Kelly joins Coniglio, Lachie Whitfield and Toby Greene arsenic the players connected semipermanent deals astatine the Giants (Getty)

"I wouldn't person thought Josh Kelly is simply a $1 cardinal player," helium said.

"The information is, would immoderate different nine successful the contention person taken implicit that declaration disconnected the Giants?

"Josh Kelly, I suspect, was much invaluable a mates of years agone than helium is now.

"He's not a $1 cardinal subordinate successful a consciousness that you'd sanction a batch of players who mightiness beryllium $1 cardinal players earlier you'd get to Josh. He mightiness beryllium successful the 20s – but it's a gigantic contract."

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