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Kelly bullish since Round One

Lee Gaskin, AFL Media  September 23, 2017 2:31 PM

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Jake Kelly - Jake Kelly,Adelaide Crows

Jake Kelly

It's incredible, it's like I'm in a dream

Adelaide’s huge Round One win over Greater Western Sydney gave Crows defender Jake Kelly the confidence they could go all the way.

The Crows are riding a wave of momentum into next Saturday's Grand Final at the MCG – one that started with their 56-point demolition of the Giants at Adelaide Oval in their first game of the season.

"I knew pretty early on we were a serious chance to contend for the premiership," Kelly told AFL Media.

"I knew we were a chance pre-season. We were a good team, I knew that, we were training well, we were ticking along.

"Probably after that Round One win over GWS though - they were touted as a serious premiership threat.

"So when we won that, and convincingly, I really gained a lot of belief and that builds throughout the year with wins over other teams."

Kelly, 22, has been one of the Crows' unsung heroes, playing a vital role in the backline after not playing a game last year.

"It's incredible, it's like I'm in a dream," he said.

"My goal at the start of the year was to play every game, and now it's about winning that one next Saturday."

One more to go, says skipper

The Crows' defence was rocked with the loss of half-back flanker Brodie Smith with a torn ACL in the Qualifying Final, but David Mackay filled in admirably in the 61-point Preliminary Final victory over Geelong on Friday night.

"To have David Mackay step up and replace Brodie and play his role, it was really amazing," Kelly said.

"Brodie will be missed and it will be hard for him and I'm feeling for him.

"The way we were able to compensate for his loss was really pleasing."

Exciting forward Mitch McGovern also watched the game from the grandstand, but could return for the Grand Final if he recovers from a hamstring injury in time.

"Unfortunately, someone might miss out with Mitch coming back, but that will be discussed during the week," Kelly said.

"If he's right, he's right. If he's not, he won't play.

"He knows that, he's a selfless player and he'll make the decision for the team."

Kelly also paid tribute to vice-captain Rory Sloane, who put his body on the line in a strong collision with Cats superstar Patrick Dangerfield.

"He continues to amaze me that bloke, he's an animal," Kelly said.

"Some of his efforts – his smothers, his follow up efforts, going back with the flight, he's an inspiration."