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Welcome to Collingwood: Will Kelly

Draft Highlights: Will Kelly Watch the under-18 highlights of Collingwood draftee Will Kelly.

Selection No. 29 – Will Kelly

Position: Defender
Height: 196cm
Weight: 87kg
Age: 18
Recruited from: Oakleigh U18

An athletic tall defender who has the ability to play one-on-one and negate his direct opponent. Grew in confidence playing for Vic Metro this year, reading the angles well with his intercept marking. As the son of Collingwood premiership player Craig Kelly, he is eligible for the Magpies as a father-son selection.

2018 TAC Cup statistics
Club: Oakleigh U18
Games: 9
Average Disposals: 13.4
Average Marks: 4.6
Average Round 50s: 2.2
Average Tackles: 1.5

Did you know? 

  • The defender has modelled his game on Collingwood star Jeremy Howe, who he spent time training alongside during the 2017/2018 pre-season
  • Kelly’s brother, Jake, plays for Adelaide. He played a handful of games for the Magpies’ VFL team as a top-up player in 2013
  • Playing for Scotch College, he played most of his school football in attack, but is primarily a backman
  • He played the final four games of the TAC Cup season, including Oakleigh’s Grand Final loss to Dandenong, with a stress fracture in his ankle

Will Kelly will follow in his famous father Craig's footsteps in representing Collingwood.

What they say

“A tall athletic defender who has the ability to play one-on- one and defend his direct opponent. Grew in confidence playing for Vic Metro in the National Under-18 Championships, reading the angles well with his intercept marking. Had an excellent year for the Chargers averaging 13.4 disposals and 4.6 marks across nine matches. Son of Collingwood premiership player Craig Kelly and an eligible father-son selection for the Magpies,” – Kevin Sheehan
(AFL Talent Ambassador),, November 2018

“As his confidence grows and grows, how I picture him is a more co-ordinated Matt Scarlett — that’s how important he could be to a team,” – Leigh Clarke (Oakleigh U18 coach), Leader Newspapers, July 2018

“Demonstrating a playing style not dissimilar to a young Will Schofield, Kelly also possesses speed and enjoys taking on the game with his run. His closing speed allows him to stick close to opposition forwards and in one-on-one contests he is competitive and rarely beaten,” – Chris Doerre (ESPN draft expert),, July 2018

What he says

“When you see the (Collingwood) supporter base at games you realise what it means to people and it would be amazing to be in that environment,” – Will Kelly
,, October 2018.

“(Having a father who played and worked in the AFL industry) has taught me a lot about the personality you need to walk into an AFL club. The work ethic and organisation, but also the open-mindedness and being open to all the different types of boys that come in,” – Will Kelly, told to Fox Sports’ Ben Waterworth, November 2018.

Craig Kelly played 122 games for Collingwood between 1989 and 1996.