It was a rapid rise that almost never began.
Fast-forward to the end of Season 2020, and rookie signing Poppy Kelly is continuing to mount her case towards being one of premier rucks of the AFLW.
The basketball-convert broke into St Kilda’s senior line-up against Fremantle in Round 4, going head-to-head with some of the best in the business to entrench herself as one of the Saints’ most important assets.
The season before for the Southern Saints, the No. 1 ruck racked up the fourth-most hit-outs in the 2019 VFLW Season.
Kelly was initially invited down to the Southern Saints try-outs by Peta Searle – after she missed the cut-off date for trials – before her athletic prowess on the track gave a glimpse into what she could become.
To say the rest is history would be to dismiss the hours of dedication on the training track, honing her kicking skills one-on-one with coaches and learning every aspect of the game.
Strong in the contest, aggressive in the air and physical at ground level, the young Saint has all the makings to become a major force for the red, white and black in Season 2021.
Occupation: Student in Environmental Engineering and Science at RMIT