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says he is looking forward to a new chapter in his top flight career, after joining the Royals from Fulham on Friday afternoon.
The Irish international signed a two and a half year contract at Madejski Stadium, and told Reading FC Player that he was keen to use his Premier League experience to help his new club’s fight for survival.
“I’m very fortunate to have been involved in the Premier League for a long time now after coming through the ranks with Tottenham,” said Kelly.
“I’ve also been lucky to be fit and healthy enough to sustain it, so it’s a matter of continuing on there with Reading. I’m hoping to bring in some experience that I’ve gained over the years, but I’m still young enough – and capable of getting up and down the pitch so I’m looking forward to adding my game and giving a different dimension.
“I’ve had some great memories so far in my career – European football with Fulham was a fantastic experience, playing and captaining my country is also up there so I’ve had plenty of highs. I’m just looking forward to getting on the pitch as soon as possible. A club like Reading, I’ve heard some great things and the people around here seem fantastic so I’m looking forward to getting stuck in between now and the end of the season.”
Naturally, with over 30 caps for his country Stephen will also have no problem fitting into a club renowned for its Irish connections.
“I’ve had some good friends who have played here over the years, and the likes of Hartey who are here now – people I know well, I’ve played with and I’ve only ever had good things to say about. For me it was easy to come in and with Brian being in charge as well that makes it so much easier. I’m delighted to be here and adding another Irish person to the squad!
“I’ve been chatting with the gaffer, the Chairman and the club seems to be going in the right direction. Everybody has the right idea and everybody is singing from the same hymn sheet so it’s definitely somewhere I want to be. I see myself having a good future here and for myself it was a no brainer to come and play football and be involved with this club.
“You look down the league, you look at the points and there’s not that much between us and the teams that are in a safe position. I think if you’re going to stay in this division it’s about beating the teams in and around you, and looking at the schedule we’ve got to play most of the teams around us at home. Home is where you need to pick up the points – and if we can do that then I think we’ve got a great chance of staying up.”