Gaelic Games

Fermanagh’s Kelm secures AFL move

Plans for Kelm to move to the AFL in 2020 were put on hold due to the pandemic

Fermanagh and Erne Gaels defender Ultan Kelm has joined AFL club Fremantle Dockers on a rookie contract.

The 21-year-old was supposed to move down under last year having impressed at the 2019 AFL Europe Combine, but the switch was put on hold as a result of the pandemic.

Kelm, who featured in Fermanagh’s Ulster Championship quarter-final defeat by Monaghan in July, had been working closely with former Down and Aussie rules star Martin Clarke with a view to securing a move.

He put on an eye-catching display at the combine clocking 2.87 seconds in the 20m sprint – a time that would have won or tied for first at all AFL combines between 2014 and 2019.

“Ultan’s been involved in the AFL Combines in Ireland and he’s interviewed extremely well. He’s desperate for an opportunity, he’s professional and he’s a really good athlete who plays with a lot of confidence and rebounds off half back,” Fremantle’s head of player personnel David Walls told the club website.

“What’s impressed us most is how proactive he’s been with following up with information, watching games and his understanding of the game.

“We’ve got all of his athletic data, which is off the charts, and he’s provided us with plenty of footage of him practicing and kicking.”

The Perth-based side finished 11th in last season’s AFL.

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