In demand Greater Western Sydney midfielder Josh Kelly will balance the lure of more cash elsewhere against potential AFL premierships at the Giants, but won’t put a time frame on when his decision will come.
With his father Phil having played for North Melbourne, the Kangaroos have reportedly offered the 22-year-old a nine-year, $9 million deal.
Kelly says he’s trying not to think about the price tag or be distracted by the huge amount of external buzz about his situation.
On Wednesday, Kelly declared his love for the Giants and his teammates, but wouldn’t be drawn on when he would make his decision.
“There will be a whole bunch of factors that come into my decision when that time is right, but I love it here,” says Kelly, whose contract expires at the end of this season.
However, he agreed it was likely to come down to weighing up the lucrative financial offers from outside suitors against the potential of the talent-stacked Giants to win multiple premierships in coming years.
“They are, I guess, the factors that need to be considered eventually,” Kelly said.
“But it’s 10 rounds into the season. I’m still contracted for this year with the Giants, so I can’t afford to think about those things right now.”
Kelly praised the Giants for not putting him under any pressure and was enthusiastic about their prospects.
“It is a special group, we’ve got great teammates, great coaches, great support staff, so it is exciting,” he said.
“We’re focusing on this year at the moment and, hopefully, we’ll be able to do some damage come the end of the year.”
The constant chatter has had no adverse impact on his form as he has been racking up career-best numbers, emerging as one of he stars of an injury-riddled but highly placed side.
“Come game day, it’s not a factor. It gets spoken around a bit of banter at the club – it’s nothing more than that,” Kelly said.
“It doesn’t really weigh me down.”
Kelly’s price tag and situation have led to constant ribbing from his teammates.
“There’s no sympathy from them,” he said.
One notorious Giants serial pest has led the ribbing.
“(Ruckman Shane) Mumford, just like with everything else, his annoying side comes out,” Kelly quipped.
He said he wasn’t discussing his contract situation with his father, who played 61 games for North from 1981-85.