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Kelly has 'genuine case' for WA return: Nisbett

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LONG-TIME West Coast CEO Trevor Nisbett doesn't believe in the 'go-home factor' as a rule, but says wantaway Geelong midfielder Tim Kelly has a "genuine case" to return to WA.

Kelly, 24, has requested a trade to the Eagles after a brilliant first season, citing the need for family support for his partner and three young boys.  

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The Cats have slapped a high price on his head, demanding at least a top-10 pick, and have rejected the reigning premiers' initial bid for the mature-age revelation.  

West Coast's first pick in this year's NAB AFL Draft isn't until No.20 overall, received as compensation for losing free agent Scott Lycett to Port Adelaide.

The Eagles also have selection No.22, and they need to get creative for Geelong to deal the contracted South Fremantle product.


"We can't satisfy Geelong at the moment, as I understood it yesterday," Nisbett said.  

"Geelong had rejected our offer, so there's a bit of work to be done yet."

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Despite labelling homesickness amongst AFL players "rubbish", Nisbett believed there were exceptional cases such as Kelly.

"The 'go-home factor' is a myth, in my view," he said. 

"I think there is some genuine cases – Tim Kelly is a genuine case – I think there's probably others who have got genuine cases that I probably don't know about.

"But I think this homesickness stuff is rubbish, young players out of home, they need to adapt.  

"If you're in the workforce and you have to move states for work, people do it on a regular basis. 

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"Tim Kelly has a reason around family and family support, which is critical.

"I think he has a fair case, and I know Geelong are very supportive of that, but they also understand they have a really good footballer.

"He likes playing in Geelong – he's always said that – but the family is a different situation." 

Kelly, who finished equal-second in the Cats' best and fairest, is the Eagles' trade priority after signing St Kilda ruckman Tom Hickey on Wednesday.