Kelly, who debuted for the Geelong Cats in 2018 after being taken with Pick 24 in the 2017 AFL draft, moved to the Eagles in 2020 on a six-year deal believed to be worth somewhere in the vicinity of $4 million.
The move came on the back of a 2019 season where Kelly was named in the All-Australian side and quickly rose to become one of the competition's best midfielders.
He has since played 54 games for the Eagles since making the move in 2020, but hasn't reached those same heights in an Eagles side who made the finals in 2020, but missed out by finishing 9th in 2021 and 17th in 2022.
Kelly's form is something he is desperate to improve, and according to The West Australian, he has been undergoing extra sprint training this summer, working through the club's Christmas break to ensure he is ready to go when the Eagles open their season on Saturday, March 18 against the North Melbourne Kangaroos.
His long-term mentor Tony Walters told the publication that he has been working with Kelly over the break.
“Those first couple of years at Geelong were really good… with what he's doing at the moment he's a bit lighter than he's ever been, he's certainly working very hard and he's set for a big year,” Walters said.
“He's still playing good footy, but I can see his mindset is pretty determined. I feel there's some good footy ahead of him.
“I don't think the pressure gets to him too much, he just wants to be the best footy player he can be.”
Walters believes that the sessions done to date will already lead to noticeable improvements in Kelly's running style throughout the 2023 campaign.
While the 28-year-old averaged 25.4 disposals per game in his breakout 2019 season with Geelong, he hasn't reached that mark during his time with the Eagles, although went closer in 2022 with 24.2 per game, up from 20.1 and 23.9 over the previous two seasons.
Kelly has also struggled with injury luck during his time back in the west, having spent his junior days with South Fremantle in the WAFL.