Kelly credits Swan with breakout year

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AFL:Change in the water at GWS

Josh Kelly has become a key member of the Giants line-up. Picture: Phil Hillyard

GWS young gun Josh Kelly is modelling his rapidly developing game on Sydney Swans midfield dynamo Dan Hannebery.

Today’s match against Carlton at Spotless Stadium will be Kelly’s 50th and the Giants’ rising talent wants his next 50 to follow the same course as Sydney’s dual All Australian.

“Dan Hannebery is a player I try to learn from,” the 184cm Kelly told The Saturday Telegraph.

“He has a similar body shape to me. I watch the little tricks he uses because I’m never going to be the biggest player out on the field.

“You have to be physically gifted to come into the league and win a lot of contested ball. It’s something I’ve always worked on and developed.”

Hannebery’s breakout year was his third and Kelly’s is shaping the same way.

Josh Kelly gets a kick away under pressure from Martin Gleeson.

Josh Kelly gets a kick away under pressure from Martin Gleeson.Source:AAP

The talented Swan made his start in 2009, finished seventh in the best and fairest two years later and also played his 50th game that season. Kelly is also on track for a top 10 finish in the Giants’ best and fairest.

“It’s been exciting so far,” Kelly said.

“There has been a wealth of things which have helped, I’ve got a stronger and more mature body now and have a couple of years under my belt in the AFL. My confidence has grown and I’m a bit more mature and obviously the team around me. We’ve taken a big leap forward and that has helped me as well.”

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One difference between the pair is Hannebery started playing finals almost straight away, while Kelly has had to bide his time as the Giants took some early beltings before this year’s push for the finals.

“We aren’t resting on our laurels,” Kelly said.

“We said at the start of the year we wanted to play finals and while we’re sitting in a good spot now it’s not going to get given to us. We have to finish off the year well.”

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Kelly is wary of a much improved Carlton team which has already won one more game (six) than they did in the whole of 2015.

“They’ve improved massively this year under Brendan Bolton,” Kelly said.

“Their defence is well structured and their method is really drilled into them. They had a hiccup before the bye but they will come out guns blazing and we have to be ready for a tough game. They will be fresh coming off their bye and will want to bring it to us.”

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