Rulla Kelly-Mansell feels right at home with the Blues

WRESTLE: Launceston's Rulla Kelly-Mansell and North's Brad Cox-Goodyer get aquainted in last week's TSL clash at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston
WRESTLE: Launceston's Rulla Kelly-Mansell and North's Brad Cox-Goodyer get aquainted in last week's TSL clash at Windsor Park. Picture: Scott Gelston

Former South Launceston premiership player Rulla Kelly-Mansell has found a niche at Launceston this season and is keen to be a part of the Blues' rise and resurgence in TSL football.

The 24-year-old media sales executive had a year with Port Melbourne in the VFL in 2014 after leaving South followed by two seasons of NTFA football with hometown club Deloraine before joining the Blues in 2017.

“I felt like it was the right timing for me to have another crack at TSL level this season having learnt from some mistakes I made in rushing things in going to the VFL and I probably didn’t go to the club I should have and it made me lose interest in playing football at a higher level,” Kelly-Mansell said.

“I found the passion to come back to TSL football this season and weighed up between North and Launceston and it felt like Launceston was the right fit in the direction they are going and I felt I’d rather join a club on the up rather than one that was already at the top and trying to hold that.

“Sam (Longergan) played a big part in getting me there and his demeanour and the way he approaches coaching has been a breath of fresh air from my end – I’ve had a lot of good coaches over my time but never anyone who is more approachable or down to earth and understanding of where people are at in their lives.

“From that aspect it’s been a breeze being at the club and feels similar to Thorpy’s first year at South with a bit of a buzz and excitement which is starting to show in our football.”

Kelly-Mansell has been playing a role across half-forward for the Blues trying to help out Sonny Whiting and providing an extra target coming forward.

“I’ve made it into the leadership group in my first year there which is a reflection of where I’m at in my life as well and making my playing more mature as well,” he said.

“I think we are on the right path but you will probably see what happened last weekend maybe a couple of times during the year.

“We’re young and still learning and six months into a program and these things are going to happen but I think in 12 to 18 months we are going to be a really good side with the youth we have coming through and I think we will have a good year.”