Kelly joins 200 club
Saturday, 10th April, 2021
By Emily Ferguson
Star of the local league, Jayden Kelly will add a 200-game milestone for the Bulldogs to his list of accolades from a stellar career so far.
Kelly is no stranger to the limelight within the Broken Hill Football League, with six Lionel Johnston Medals, five premierships with the Bulldogs and six Best and Fairest awards to his name.
“It feels a bit surreal, I suppose. I’ve always walked into that footy club and looked upon the 200 wall and always seen some of the legends that I grew up watching. So I’ve always wanted to be on that wall and so to make 200 is a very good achievement,” he said.
It’s no secret that Kelly is a North man through and through. He said he loves the club and the family that it is.
“I think it’s just the family environment we create – we’ve always been a really tight unit. I’ve had all my mates there and I’ve grown up with them all. You can walk around the whole football club and have about 15 conversations with different people – like there are no groups – we’re just one big club, one big family.
“I just love the way that everyone welcomes in whoever comes walking through that door and it’s just the way we’ve always been. We’ve always had a good culture.”
Kelly spoke of what he considers his greatest achievements in his career so far, “Well I suppose all the individual accolades are good, and they’re something I’ll look back on later on after my career, but we play footy for one reason and that’s to win flags. So they’ve been the best highlights for me – playing with all the boys and winning the premierships. We haven’t been so lucky in the last three years but hoping to turn that around.
“And also getting on this 200 wall – it’s something that I’ve always wanted to do so it’s a great achievement.”
Kelly said he had enjoyed playing with the whole Bulldog clan but there are a few standouts.
“I’ve loved playing with Codie Howard. He’s a star and he always has been. He’s a bloke that has been above us but we’ve always looked up to him and he’s always been a leader to us.
“And then all my other mates like Gaz (Mat Garrick), Sheep (Blake Clare), Borlace (Jake) – like we’ve had a really tight-knit group that has stuck together – so just running out with them every week makes it a lot easier and makes me want to keep coming back.”
He recently gained a new title off the field as a father to his son Austin, which he says gives him further motivation to impress on the field, starting with his 200th game in the blue and white.
“It does feel a little bit different – I didn’t think it would. But I suppose it’s just that extra incentive to sort of make him proud, and make him want to when he grows up look back and see what I did as a parent and hopefully make him proud and make him want to be a little Doggie.
“We’ve got a little outfit ready for him so, hopefully, he’ll put on the smiles and I’ll give him a big hug as I run out. It’ll be one of the greatest moments of my career to run out with him.”
Kelly is more than ready to get stuck into the 2021 season, “I’m looking forward to just getting back into some footy after we had 12 months off last year. I didn’t think I missed it that much. I thought, aw nah, it’ll be good to have 12 months off. But now that we’ve been training, I’m itching to get into it and kick the football back around. Hopefully, we can knock South out of the top spot that they’ve had for the last three years now and get back up top.”