GEELONG tried everything it could to retain All-Australian midfielder Tim Kelly – including asking the AFL for extra financial allowance outside its Total Player Payment.

After two brilliant seasons at the Cats, Kelly was traded home to Western Australia in exchange for a swathe of West Coast draft picks that included its 2019 and 2020 first round selections.

Kelly's desire to return home stemmed largely from the fact two of his three sons have autism and he needed a larger family network to assist with their treatment.

Tim Kelly training with the Eagles. Picture: Getty Images

Geelong CEO Brian Cook said on Melbourne radio station SEN on Wednesday morning that the Cats did all they could.

"To do what we needed to do to make sure it was as comfortable as possible for the Kelly family was near impossible in the end because it would have needed the parents to come over, all sorts of assistance around home," Cook said.

"We went to the AFL and asked for some extra help in terms of money outside the TPP, because these things cost money, and the AFL knocked us back.

"It made it really hard for us to do exactly what we … the 100 per cent that we wanted to help with." 

Cook said he thought the trade was a win for all three parties, with Geelong getting two first round and two second round draft picks, Kelly getting home, and the Eagles getting one of the competition's best midfielders.

>> Follow the 2019 NAB AFL Draft on Fox Footy from 6.30pm AEDT on Wednesday, November 27 and Thursday, November 28. Not a Foxtel or Kayo subscriber? Cal Twomey, Nat Edwards, Riley Beveridge and Mitch Cleary bring you Draft Night Live on AFL.com.au and the AFL Live Official App, from 6.30pm AEDT on Wednesday, November 27.