SURPRISED ADDITION: Collingwood defender delisted, trio sign new deals

A five-year Collingwood defender has been notified that his contract will not be renewed for the 2024 season.

Will Kelly, a defender who has played just five AFL games since being drafted in 2018, has been delisted by the Magpies and will not be offered a contract for 2024.

Despite having already filed five delistings this off-season, the Pies aren’t done changing their roster in preparation for their flag defense.

Collingwood confirmed the backman’s exit on Friday, with list head Graham Wright congratulating him.

AFL 2020: Will Kelly injury, Collingwood father-sons, Pies Hawks, Will Kelly  debut, Round 6

“We thank Will for all that he has put in across five seasons with the Club,” Wright said in a statement.

“Unfortunately for Will, injuries have kept him out of the AFL side, but his strong willpower and ability to develop through our VFL program should be commended.”

“We have informed Will we will consider adding him as a train-on player over the pre-season if we have SSP spots available following the completion of the draft process in November.”

Kelly, who the Magpies matched an Adelaide Crows bid for under father-son rules in 2018, injured his elbow during his league debut in 2020 and only appeared in four more games for the club.

When the delisted free agency market starts next Wednesday, November 1, the stopper could give it a shot.

The Pies delisted Trent Bianco, Arlo Draper, Cooper Murley, Trey Ruscoe, and Tom Wilson prior to the apparent removal of Kelly.

In better news, Nathan Kreuger, Josh Carmichael, and young ruck Aiden Begg have all agreed to one-year extensions with Craig McRae.

Collingwood announce further list changes

While the trio would only make three senior appearances in 2023, each brings a valuable skill set to the Pies, whether within the battle, ahead of the ball, or during stoppages.

“We’re pleased to have Aiden, Nathan and Josh on board for another season,” Wright said in a statement.

“Our football program is dedicated to investing in the next generation of young talent, and today’s signings reflect that commitment.”

“Since joining us, Josh has seamlessly integrated into our game plan and demonstrated great perseverance.” Nathan and Aiden have both demonstrated skill and commitment, highlighting his potential.

“Their dedication to this Football Club at the AFL and VFL levels is greatly admired.” We eagerly await their contributions in 2024.”

Collingwood officially names Craig McRae as new AFL head coach - ABC News

Collingwood has completed its player movement period, welcoming ex-Docker Lachie Schultz via trade while bidding farewell to senior midfielder Taylor Adams and forward Jack Ginnivan to the Sydney Swans and Hawthorn.

The Magpies’ focus now shifts to this year’s National Draft, which begins on November 20 and runs into a second night on November 21.

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