By John Kyrou

South Melbourne FC wishes to advise that Shaun Kelly has been released to continue his career at fellow National Premier League club Port Melbourne Sharks in 2015.

Shaun arrived at Lakeside Stadium from State League side Shepparton United during the 2012 mid-season transfer window. The centre-back made 31 appearances for South Melbourne FC across all competitions and scored five goals during his time at the Club. He scored four goals from only seven appearances during the second half of the 2012 season and – in a sign of South’s struggles that season – won the Club’s Golden Boot award as a result.

Season 2013 was a difficult one for South Melbourne as the Club underwent a massive overhaul of the squad before and during the course of the year, which also included a change of Head Coach. Shaun Kelly was one of the few players that played throughout the entirety of that season, making 24 appearances across all competitions and scoring one goal. Disaster struck at the end of 2013 when he sustained a nasty foot injury that sidelined him for the entire 2014 campaign.

A model professional, Shaun took this setback in his stride and worked tirelessly with the staff at Principal Partner Keiser Training to get over his injury whilst still supporting South Melbourne FC on the terraces. He was very much a part of the squad that won the NPL Victoria Championship this season despite not playing on the park in 2014.

Shaun had this to say upon his decision to leave the Club: “I would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody at South Melbourne FC for a brilliant few years. I have made the decision to move clubs for the upcoming season. I believe at this stage of my career – and especially after missing this year through injury – that I need to move to guarantee regular game time. I would like to thank the committee for all of their help and support, especially during my injury. I would also like to thank all of the coaching staff, both past and present, and all of the behind-the-scenes staff who work extremely hard to ensure that the Club succeeds. To all my team mates, also past and present, it has been a pleasure to play with all of you and share in the Club’s success. Finally, I would like to thank the fans. Your support and passion is unrivalled by any other club in the League and without you the Club wouldn’t be what it is today. Thank you all for your support and for all the memories that I will have. It’s been a privilege to represent such a big club and I look forward to playing at Lakeside Stadium next season.”

South Melbourne FC would like to thank Shaun on his contribution both on and off the park at the Club, and wishes him nothing but the very best for the future.