Fremantle has announced that they are committing to sign Northen Irishman Ultan Kelm as a Category B Rookie.
Kelm, 21, is from Fermanagh in Northern Ireland and is a defender in Gaelic football. His key asset is his burst speed.
At the 2019 Europe Combine, Kelm caught the eye with his 2.87 second 20 metres sprint. That time is just 0.14 seconds above the combine record set by Fremantle's Joel Western.
Excited with this!
We've committed to sign Northern Irishman @ultan_kelm from County Fermanagh.
Have a look at these highlights to see why 💨#foreverfreo
— Fremantle Dockers (@freodockers) October 14, 2021
Head of Player Personnel David Walls said Kelm was another eye to the future for the Dockers.
“Ultan’s been involved in the AFL Combines in Ireland and he’s interviewed extremely well. He’s desperate for an opportunity, he’s professional and he’s a really good athlete who plays with a lot of confidence and rebounds off half back,” Walls said.
“What’s impressed us most is how proactive he’s been with following up with information, watching games and his understanding of the game.
“We’ve got all of his athletic data, which is off the charts, and he’s provided us with plenty of footage of him practicing and kicking.”
Kelm has been working with fellow Northern Irishmen former Collingwood defender Martin Clarke who now works at integrating GAA players into the AFL system.
“He’s been using an AFL footy for the last couple of years and practicing his skills. He’s still got a long way to go but he’s made some great gains in the last two years and is incredibly motivated,” Walls said.
“He’s worked with Martin Clark in Ireland, who has assisted us in this process as well with information and training him. It’s been mixed historically with players from Ireland, but it could take a couple of years before we could expect to see him playing at AFL level.”