Season review: Jake Kelly

Adelaide Crows and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval on August 19, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)” title=”ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 19: Jake Kelly of the Crows evades the tackle from Kayne Turner of the Kangaroos during the 2018 AFL round 22 match between the Adelaide Crows and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval on August 19, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)”/>

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – AUGUST 19: Jake Kelly of the Crows evades the tackle from Kayne Turner of the Kangaroos during the 2018 AFL round 22 match between the Adelaide Crows and the North Melbourne Kangaroos at Adelaide Oval on August 19, 2018 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by AFL Media)

In his third season at the Club, defender Jake Kelly diversified his game and spent time in a new role further up the ground.

Known for his bullish tackling nature and speedy gut-running, the young Crow spent some time on the wing in 2018, determined to add an attacking element to his game.

He almost doubled his rebound 50 count from 2017 to average 2.4 per game, as well as averaging 16.6 disposals at an impressive 85.1 per cent efficiency.

The 23-year-old had Don Pyke up and about in Round 23 when he kicked his first AFL goal in Adelaide’s 104-point win over Carlton.

NEXT: Joy for Jake

Post-match, Pyke said Adelaide’s coaching staff had been talking about playing the tackling machine up forward all year.

“We’ve got a guy who’s got elite running, is a competitive guy who tackles and puts really good pressure on so we saw an opportunity to push him forward in the last quarter,” he said.

“I was aware he hadn’t kicked a goal so it was kind of like here’s your chance to get down there and see what you can do.

“It’s always an exciting moment when a guy kicks his first goal.”

Kelly reached his 50-game milestone in Round 18 when Adelaide defeated Brisbane by five points.

At a glance:

Games: 19
Goals: 1
Disposals per game: 16.6
Disposal efficiency: 85.1 per cent
Rebound 50s per game: 2.4

Best game:

Round Two v Richmond

Kelly was influential in the Crows’ 36-point win over the Tigers at Adelaide Oval where he had 28 disposals, six marks and five rebound 50s.

Source: Adelaide Crows website

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