Dons’ Kelly keen on one more round in AFL

James Kelly wants to play on and his teammates want him to as well.

But will Essendon coach John Worsfold find a place for the veteran in his full-strength Bombers side next season?

The discarded Geelong midfielder has been close to the pick of Essendon’s top-up players in 2016 as the AFL club managed without 12 players serving anti-doping bans.

Having been given a second chance at an AFL career, Kelly isn’t keen to give the game away a second time just yet.

“(Playing on is) a lot more attractive than it had been earlier in the year,” he told Melbourne radio station SEN.

“At this stage, I still don’t know.

“I’ve really enjoyed being at the club and being around a group of guys who also really enjoy their footy and enjoy playing together.

“I still havent had a proper sit down with Woosha … we’ve had a few chats briefly throughout the year, but at this stage we’ll get through the week and then sit down and have a coffee next week and see where we’re at.”

The lure of a crack at finals football with Essendon is proving attractive for Kelly, who won three premierships with Geelong.

And two of his key teammates are keen for him to play on.

Stand-in skipper Brendon Goddard and Joe Daniher say they’d like to see Kelly’s presence in defence in 2017.

Daniher said he “hoped he would stay” while Goddard, who signed a one-year contract extension of his own this week, backed him to do the same.

“If there’s a spot available we’d love to have Kels,” Goddard said.

“Not only (because of) what you see on the field but what he offers in the locker room with his personality too.

“Take away age, I think that’s really important … based on his form (I’d support it).”

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