UNDEFEATED Farrer League leaders East Wagga-Kooringal is set to strengthen their forward line with the addition of Victorian goalkicking machine Christian Kelly.
The Hawks have applied for a clearance for Kelly to join the club from Colac District Football League club Birregurra.
Kelly, 29, has kicked 100 goals in a season on three occasions and has enjoyed a total of 626 goals since the start of the 2008 season.
Kelly has kicked 30 goals from the opening seven games this season and then was best-on-ground in Colac and District Football League’s interleague win over Golden Rivers last month.
Kelly’s arrival will see the Hawks overflowing with armoury up forward as he joins Marc Geppert, Chris Jackson, James Hodges and Jake Robinson in an explosive EWK attack.
EWK coach Gavin McMahon was too busy to comment this week but a Colac District Football League source said Kelly would be a valuable asset to the Hawks.
“He’s got family based down here and just couldn’t commit to the travel anymore,” the source said.
“He’s a pretty handy footballer.”
Kelly has been working in New South Wales, believed to be near Tumbarumba, for several years.
A number of AFL Riverina clubs have tried to lure Kelly away from Birregurra but were unsuccessful, until the Hawks.
Birregurra were disappointed to see Kelly leave but will give the green light to the clearance.
Birregurra coach Ben Boseley told The Colac Herald that Kelly’s commitment to his club had been exceptional.
“He’s been working up in New South Wales, and he does a 14-hour round-trip each weekend just to play football, and he’s been doing that for a couple of years,” Boseley said to The Colac Herald.
“He gets in Friday night, has a couple of hours’ sleep before playing, and then he hangs around at the club before he has to take off again.
“That just shows his commitment, he really does love the club, but this year, unfortunately the travel was just getting to him and he was unable to commit.”
Kelly has spent the last four seasons with Birregurra where his best return was 79 goals as they made a grand final appearance.
He spent time with Maldon and Alvie before there, where he kicked 130 goals in the Maldon Football League in 2011, including 21 in one game.
Kelly is expected to train with the Hawks on Thursday and will be available for selection against Charles Sturt University at Gumly Oval on Saturday.