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'My own path': Kelly forgoes dad's number

RAW: Hear from our new draftees Hear from our new draftees, Will Kelly, Isaac Quaynor and Atu Bosenavulagi from the Magpie Nest on Bourke Street.

Collingwood father-son recruit Will Kelly wants to forge his own footballing path, electing not to wear the No. 23 jumper his dad donned for the Magpies.

The stars aligned for Kelly to wear the jumper his father, former defender and now player agent Craig, played in between 1989 and 1996 with its most recent owner Sam McLarty delisted at the end of the season.

But Kelly decided against taking on the number Craig wore for 122 games and will instead wear No. 27.

"I decided not to take it … 'Daics' (Josh Daicos) and 'Browny' (Callum Brown) did the same thing," Kelly said on Saturday.

"I just think it's best to get out of the spotlight and try and forge my own path.

"It was open to take but I thought it was a better thing if I don't.”

Kelly was yet to tell his dad of his decision to pass on the guernsey, which was offered to him following Friday's completion of the National Draft.

But he expected his father to be understanding of why he wanted his own number.

"I decided on my own. He'll be fine, he's very open to me about forging my own path so I think it will be a good chat," he said.



(From left-to-right) Isaac Quaynor, Will Kelly and Atu Bosenavulagi wear their new numbers during Saturday's press conference at the Salvation Army’s Magpie Nest Cafe. Photo: collingwoodfc.com.au

The 18-year-old was drafted by the Magpies with their second pick in Friday's draft, No. 29 overall.

Kelly is the fifth father-son recruit currently on the Pies' list with just Darcy Moore currently continuing his family legacy by wearing his dad's number.

Moore wears No. 30, the guernsey worn by his father Peter Moore between 1974 and 1982. 

Like Kelly, the Pies' other father-son recruits – Daicos (No. 26), and Callum (No. 17) and Tyler Brown (No. 34) – wear numbers different to their fathers.

Kelly added he was ready for any additional focus that could come his way as the result of being a father-son selection.

"There will be a bit of attention but I'm just like every other player, every other draftee," he said.

"Every other player has that attention and focus on them so I've just got to take it in my stride."

Kelly's decision regarding No. 23 could allow fellow new recruit Jordan Roughead to continue with the jumper he played 138 games in for the Western Bulldogs, with the ruckman yet to be given a number.

As expected, the Pies' first pick – Isaac Quaynor, No. 13 overall – will wear No. 35, which is the jumper they have allocated to their first draft selection every year since the end of 2010. 

Incidentally, No. 35 was worn by Josh Daicos' father, Peter.

However, the decision to award the jumper to each year's top draftee came after Simon Prestigiacomo wore it for 233 games between 1996 and 2010.

The defender was honoured with the gesture after famously standing down from the 2010 Grand Final team because he knew his groin injury wouldn't allow him to play at his best.

"It has a really rich background and I'm super proud to put the jersey on and wear that number," Quaynor, a lifelong Collingwood supporter, said.

Last year's top Magpie draftee Jaidyn Stephenson will be allocated a new number in the coming weeks.



Bosenavulagi, Quaynor and Kelly show off their new jumper numbers at the Salvation Army’s Magpie Nest Cafe. Photo: collingwoodfc.com.au

The Pies' third and final pick in the draft, Atu Bosenavulagi, will don No. 40, recently worn by new Eagle Josh Smith.

Bosenavulagi was born in Australia but has Fijian heritage and grew up playing as a centre and on the wing in rugby union.

Collingwood Cheer Squad member Jeff 'Joffa' Corfe is married to Bosenavulagi's grandmother's sister, and the small forward calls the passionate Pie 'Grandpa'.

"He's very excited and happy for me," Bosenavulagi said.

"I was a Bulldogs supporter so he was telling me to forget the Doggies and move on."

Bosenavulagi had to wait until the draft's final minutes to know his fate with the Magpies using the second-last pick overall to recruit the Next Generation Academy product.

"They didn't give me any clues, they wanted to give me a heart attack, I was just waiting for my name to be called and I was second last … I was like, geez, what's happening?" he said.

"But I was relieved, it was a lot of pressure relieved."

The trio will start their induction at the club on Monday with Kelly to ease into things as he remains on the mend from an ankle stress fracture sustained during the TAC Cup finals.

He is recently out of a moon boot and will have scans in the coming weeks to make sure it has healed properly before he starts running again.