“RIGHT now, to be honest, I can’t really see myself anywhere else”.
With those 12 words, Tim Kelly may have given the strongest hint yet of what his footballing future holds beyond 2019.
However, it may become a question of what Geelong is prepared to offer Kelly, who will likely be offered monster deals by Fremantle and West Coast to lure him back across the Nullarbor.
In his home town of Perth ahead of the Geelong’s clash with Fremantle at Optus Stadium on Saturday, the out-of-contract midfielder faced a barrage of questions about his plans for 2020.
Kelly’s future has been the subject of much speculation, and the 25-year-old admits there is a sense of repaying the Cats for their faith drafting him.
“I’m forever grateful to this footy club for giving me the opportunity,” he said.
“(As) someone who was starved of an opportunity overlooked for so many years, (to) finally get my opportunity, it’s something that myself, my family, will forever be grateful — 100 per cent.
“In terms of owing, I think I’m doing a great job in terms of on-field performances, and how I conduct myself within the community outside of footy.
“This club’s been great; this club is a great club; I love the club.”
Kelly confirmed there is an offer on the table from Geelong.
“Ultimately, it’s going to come down to what’s put forward; ultimately what it means for me and my family,” he said
“The reality is I’ve come into the game at 23 years of age. I’m not going to have the luxury of these, 15, 16, 18-year careers that some of my great teammates are having or going to have.
“I’m not going to be here forever, I’ve got a short amount of time at this, and I’ve got to make the most of everything that comes my way.
“Getting that balance right of family and footy, and, ultimately, what is put in front of me; what it means for us (family), is going to determine what I do.
“Personally, I feel like I’m in the best place possible.”
Coach Chris Scott says he has no issue that Kelly hasn’t yet committed his future at GMHBA Stadium.
“Just focus in on the short-term. It’s not hard for me or the club at all,” he said,
“We’re really comfortable with the position that we’re in, and the dialogue’s been fantastic from the day that Tim came across.
“He was overlooked in four or five drafts in-a-row.
“I don’t know there’s too much different in Tim’s approach from what it was when he was just so excited to finally get his chance.”
Click below to listen to Tim Kelly’s media conference in-full.