PLAYERS - KELLY, Craig  
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Craig KELLY

STATISTICS

Guernsey Number: 28
Career: 1984 to 1988
NFC Games: 121
NFC Goals: 90
Debut: v Sturt (Football Park) 31st March 1984
Finale: v Central District (Football Park) 10th September 1988

VFL/AFL Clubs: Collingwood
 

Possibly best described as a uncompromising footballer, Craig Kelly was a popular member of the Norwood and Collingwood football clubs. Recruited by Norwood while still at Prince Alfred College after talks with Neil Balme and John Wynne, Kelly's many suitors had included Port Adelaide where his father Kim played between 1958 and 1963.
 
Debuting in 1984, he played most of his early football as a strong marking key forward, but missed Norwood's Grand Final triumph that year due to injury. By 1988 he was the team's regular centre half back, a position even more suited to his straight-ahead style of football.
 
It was only a matter of time before he started to attract serious interest from VFL clubs and as early as 1986 had been selected by Collingwood in the National Draft at pick number 34. The powerfully built key position player eventually moved to Victoria for the start of the 1989 season having been reported and subsequently suspended in his last match for the Redlegs.
 
Kelly was an important player at centre half back in Collingwood's 1990 premiership win and went on to play 122 games for the VFL Magpies between 1989 and 1996.
 
After retiring as a player, he co-founded Elite Sports Properties with former Olympian Rob Woodhouse and became a highly successful player manager.

R Cialini May 2014
 

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