Extra bulk held me back: Eagle Kelly

·2-min read

West Coast midfielder Tim Kelly concedes his decision to put on more muscle in 2020 "wasn't the best thing" for him.

Kelly made a big-money move from Geelong to West Coast at the end of 2019, but he struggled at times to make an impact in his first year at the Eagles.

The 26-year-old has recaptured his best form this season and feels he has now found a good balance between focusing on strength and on-field coverage.

"As a player, you're always looking for areas to improve your game," Kelly said on Monday.

"For me, at the end of 2019 it was, 'What are the opposition doing? I'm starting to get tagged more and they're starting to push me around a bit. I need to get stronger'.

"With that mindset I took away from what I'm really good at. (I thought) I needed to put on a bit of size, a bit more muscle and be strong in the contest. It probably wasn't the best thing for me.

"But I'm feeling really comfortable with my weight (now) and I'm still feeling really strong and good around the contest and I'm covering the ground better."

Kelly won his first Glendinning-Allan medal on Sunday when he tallied 42 disposals and 13 clearances in the 59-point western derby win over Fremantle.

Surprisingly, Kelly didn't rate it as one of the best games of his 73-match career.

"I don't think it was near one of my best," he said.

"I think I've had some games where I've been able to be damaging and hit the scoreboard.

"Don't get me wrong I thought I was good yesterday, particularly around the contest.

"But you always look at opportunities missed and I kicked two points yesterday."

West Coast will be aiming to snare their first away win of the season when they take on Hawthorn at the MCG on Sunday.

Tom Barrass (shoulder) is expected to miss a second straight week while fellow defenders Jeremy McGovern (groin) and Shannon Hurn (calf) are still sidelined.