Educated at St. Ignatius College, Matthew Kelly was a talented and competitive wingman/half-back flanker. He played a handful of games for the Norwood Under 17's premiership side in 1988.
The following season he quickly progressed through the Under 19's and Reserves, making his League debut against Glenelg mid-season, and playing 14 senior games for the year. At the end of the season he was drafted by the Collingwood Football Club but decided to stay at The Parade.
In 1990, he played another seven League games and signed with the Adelaide Crows as part of their initial squad for their entry in the AFL. It would have been a tough decision for the youngster as Collingwood had won the 1990 VFL premiership.
Still eligible to play for the Redlegs when not required by the Crows, Kelly played five SANFL games in 1991, and made his AFL debut against Hawthorn, late in the season. He played 20 games for the Redlegs in 1992.
Unfortunately, Kelly's career was to be severely hampered by injuries and he only played one more AFL game - against Geelong in 1992.
His injuries included a broken finger, two wrist injuries, damaged lateral and cruciate ligaments with subsequent long term complications, and major surgery involving knee and ankle reconstructions.
Kelly played his last game of senior football in Norwood's opening round of the 1993 season.
After playing one game for the Reserves in 1995, he was appointed Norwood's new Technical & Development Officer in 1996.
A talented cricketer, Kelly played A Grade for the East Torrens Cricket Club before football commitments and injuries took their toll.
Younger brother Richard, also played League football for Norwood (81 games, 1990-97), and for Glenelg (48 games).
R Cialini Feb 2017