ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA - JULY 18 Jake Kelly of the Crows handballs in front of Liam Ryan of the Eagles during the round 18 AFL match between Adelaide Crows and West Coast Eagles at Adelaide Oval on July 18, 2021 in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Adelaide defender Jake Kelly is set to join Essendon after informing Adelaide of his desire to return home to Victoria.

Having played 110-games in an Crows jumper since being selected with the 40th pick of the 2014 rookie draft, Kelly's services to the football club have seen him meet the markers to become an unrestricted free-agent.

Despite being sad to see the 26-year-old depart West Lakes, Adelaide's head of football Adam Kelly claimed that the Melburnian would depart with their blessing.

“Jake has made a great contribution to our Club over the past eight seasons,” Kelly said of his namesake in an official statement.

“He has consistently set high standards on and off the field with his training and preparation.

“We thank him for his service and wish him all the best as he embarks on the next stage of his career.”

PERTH, AUSTRALIA - JUNE 10: Jake Kelly of the Crows looks on during the round 12 AFL match between the Fremantle Dockers and the Adelaide Crows at Optus Stadium on June 10, 2018 in Perth, Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

AFL Media reported on Thursday that North Melbourne could be in a position to table a multi-year deal to the defender due to a prior professional relationship between he and head coach David Noble.

However, this view was revised on Friday afternoon after journalist Mitch Cleary tweeted that Kelly would be joining 2021 finalists Essendon instead.

The Oakleigh Chargers product's acquisition acts as a large boost for Ben Rutten's defense that was overrun by the Bulldogs in their elimination final last month.

Kelly will join a defensive group that is already comprised of up-and-coming names such as Jordan Ridley, Jayden Laverde, Nick Hind, Mason Redman and Brandon Zerk-Thatcher.

The length of the deal struck between the two parties is still yet to be made public knowledge.