PERTH, AUSTRALIA - APRIL 8: Tim Kelly of the Cats celebrates a goal during the 2018 AFL round 03 match between the West Coast Eagles and the Geelong Cats at Perth Stadium on April 8, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Daniel Carson/AFL Media/Getty Images)

Since debuting in 2018, Tim Kelly has been a star midfielder for Geelong. Kelly played every game in 2018 and finished the season equal second in the Cats’ Best and Fairest.

So far this season, Kelly has averaged 25.9 disposals, one goal and 5.4 tackles per game. Most recently, he dominated in his sides win against North Melbourne where he collected 36 disposals, won 11 clearances and had three goal assists before booting two of his own.

Former Demons great Garry Lyon believes his speed and skillfulness makes him one of the best midfielders and one of, if not the most influential player in the competition.

“Michael Gleeson has written this, ‘presently Patrick Cripps and Brodie Grundy in that order are the two best, most influential players in the competition’, he’s got Jeremy Cameron in that mix as well,” Lyon said on SEN Breakfast.

“I think he may have missed Tim Kelly.

“I acknowledged that he is a really good player, but he’s much better than I thought he was.

“He’s doing it week in, week out and influencing results.

“I had a bit of a knock on him in terms of the way he kicked the footy last year, but he’s improved.”

Former St Kilda captain Nick Riewoldt echoed Lyon’s sentiments, adding that Kelly’s ability to cover the ground puts him a step above other midfielders.

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“He kicked a couple of rippers yesterday, Kelly,” Riewoldt said.

“Even late in the game, there was a passage of play late in the game, so North Melbourne are coming, they’re getting a lot of opportunities in the last quarter.

“The ball comes forward and Gary Ablett gets on the end of it with a great little kick around the corner and we laud the class and the finish, if you actually watch it, Tim Kelly is the one who wins a clean, clean crumb and just the beautiful little dish to set Ablett on his way.

“When you drill down into what he does, he’s an enormous runner.

“His running power to get to the fall of the ball and get to the ground ball situation, he gets a lot of them around the ground where he surges to packs and to contest situations to win the ground ball and they’re the most valuable ones because they’re the ones where you can launch and score from.”

Kelly and Geelong look to secure their fifth straight win and hold on to their top spot on the ladder when they face Western Bulldogs this weekend.