16 June 1966 (age 57)
Age at first & last AFL game
First game: 22y 310d
Last game: 30y 76d
Height and weight
Height: 190 cm
Weight: 95 kg
|Club||League||Career span||Games||Goals||Avg||Win %||AKI||AHB||AMK||BV|
Craig Kelly was a powerful, straight ahead kind of player who could perform with equal effectiveness at both ends of the ground. He was courted by both Port Adelaide, for whom his father Kim had played between 1958 and 1963, and Norwood, eventually plumping for the latter after some persuasive talking from Neil Balme and John Wynne. Kelly debuted with the Redlegs in 1984 and, playing mainly at centre half forward, made a big impression. However, the season ended in disappointment as he missed the grand final, which Norwood won, with injury.
Kelly spent five seasons at the Parade, playing 121 SANFL games and kicking 90 goals. After his debut season he played most of his football at centre back, a position which arguably suited his style of play more than centre half forward, and indeed the position he would hold down for much of his V/AFL career with Collingwood where he moved in 1989. In eight seasons with the Magpies Craig Kelly played 122 games and registered 43 goals with the undoubted highlight coming in 1990 when he was part of Collingwood's drought-breaking premiership team.
After retiring as a player Kelly co-founded Elite Sports Properties with former Olympian Rob Woodhouse and became a highly successful AFL player manager.
Author - John Devaney