Kelly will send a party of player agents to the US next year to examine the workings of free agency in that nation’s sporting codes.
Kelly said free agency would be more helpful to mainly second-tier players who hoped to extend their careers than superstars chasing more money.
“There needs to be a system to allow guys who have serviced their club and done their time, but who aren’t in their club’s long-term plans, to extend their careers,” Kelly said.
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Pods, Kelly in the clear Perth Now, 26 Sep 2011
Why this Saint went marching Herald Sun, 17 Sep 2011
Sharks to read Albert the riot act FoxSports, 26 Jun 2011
Sharks wrap up Kelly Herald Sun, 17 May 2011
Kelly stays with Sharks FoxSports, 16 May 2011
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“There are many examples where that could have happened. We have had 10 or more players in recent years, guys like (Magpie) Brodie Holland, heaps of guys who could have gone to another opportunity elsewhere, but it didn’t happen. Free agency won’t be perfect, but it will give them a chance.”
Under free agency, players who have 10 years of service can cross to rivals without their club having the chance to match that contract.
Kelly says the hysteria about free agency ignores that most players are loyal.
“Normally players don’t want to leave, so for the scaremongers out there who say you will lose superstar players, most players stay if their club is successful and well run.
“Geelong and Collingwood have plenty of examples of players staying for less than they would get to go, because they want to be part of a well-run club.
“Where the pressure will come for clubs is to provide good facilities and programs and be building for success.”