GWS football manager Wayne Campbell says the club remain confident that star midfielder Josh Kelly will extend his contract at the Giants in the near future.
The 22-year-old on-baller has had a fantastic fourth season of AFL football, averaging 29.4 disposals, 6.4 tackles, 4.9 clearances and five inside 50s a game in 2017, seeing the youngster named in his first ever All-Australian side and finishing third in the AFL Players’ Association MVP award behind Richmond star Dustin Martin and 2016 Brownlow Medallist Patrick Dangerfield.
Despite Kelly still being out-of-contract at season’s end with a host of Melbourne-based clubs chasing the Victorian native, Campbell remains bullish over the club’s chances of retaining him.
“We are (confident). There’s obviously been enormous interest from other clubs but we’re super keen to keep him,” he told SEN’s The Run Home.
“All I can say is that we’re confident that the right vibes are coming out of Josh and Paul Connors, his manager, and I’m hoping it comes sooner rather than later.”
“(The contract talks) have always been about keeping Josh playing really good footy, which he has been able to do…he’s handled it really well.”
The Giants today locked in a fellow midfielder for a further two years, with Lachie Whitfield committing to the club until the end of the 2020 season.
Despite rumours that Whitfield was being targeted by Hawthorn, the GWS general manager of football says they were always assured that the on-baller would stay a Giant long-term.
“Lachie has been here for five years, he’s entrenched in Sydney…it’s probably one of the easier negotiations we’ve done,” said Campbell.
“He loves the lifestyle of Sydney and loves the club. A really talented player and we’re wrapped to have him for another couple of years.”
The Giants take on the West Coast Eagles at Spotless Stadium on Saturday night in a do-or-die semi-final.
The winner will take on Richmond in a preliminary final at the MCG the following Saturday for a place in the 2017 AFL Grand Final.