West Coast paid a lot of money to bring Tim Kelly back to Perth but as far as Adam Simpson is concerned it’s worth every cent.
Recruited from Geelong on a six-year, reported $5 million contract, Kelly stood tall in Thursday’s 15-point AFL win over St Kilda at a rainy Gabba as the Eagles secured their finals berth.
With Dom Sheed, Brendon Ah Chee, Luke Shuey, Lewis Jetta, Elliot Yeo and Jamie Cripps all unavailable, Kelly was the man to deliver for the injury-hit Eagles.
The 26-year-old put in a best-on-ground display including 29 disposals, nine clearances and a vital final quarter goal as West Coast ended a run of five games in 19 days in style.
“He’s worth every cent, isn’t he?,” Simpson said.
“Hopefully we’ve got him for the next seven or eight years.
“He knew and Nic knew and Gaffey knew that they had to step up and lead, and they did exactly that.”
The win not only confirms the Eagles’ finals berth but leaves them firmly in the hunt for a top four spot heading into their final home-and-away fixture against North Melbourne.
Jeremy McGovern will miss the game after injuring his hamstring against the Saints but Sheed (hamstring) and Ah Chee (finger) are chances to return to face the Kangaroos.
Securing a top-four spot wasn’t on Simpson’s mind however as he prepares his team for a much-needed week-long gap between fixtures.
“That’s secondary,” Simpson said of finishing in the top four.
“We just want to play a good brand of footy and next week we’ve got North.”