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Dolan on special bonds

20 November 2013

Academy head hails players' passion

Eamonn Dolan has spoken of the passion that young Royals players feel for the club – and believes our latest professional Liam Kelly is a case in point.

The gifted midfielder, who turns 18 this Friday, has already been with our Academy for ten years – and penned his first professional contract earlier this week.

“We live in a world of players kissing the badges, and saying they love the club – but these kids they do, they really do,” said Academy boss Eamonn Dolan.

“They can empathise with the passion you see in proper Reading fans. I think that’s really special and really important. I think in this case it’s a credit to Liam and his family.  The way he conducts himself is fantastic. Modern football is a bit more complicated than it used to be, but he has handled himself really well in the process and he, his family and his agent have been very simple to deal with.”

Dolan also emphasised that such a strong mindset will need to be a theme throughout Kelly’s fledgling career, if he is to build on his undeniable talent.

“It’s a cliché, but it’s up to Liam. We have great belief in him. I remember seeing him as a nine year old and thinking ‘wow what a wonderful player’. He’s never been the biggest, but now we have the manger placing great faith in young players – as we’ve seen with the likes of Jordan Obita in recent games. And that’s the philosophy of the club now, the club is committed to being a good place for young players.

“The rest of this season is a big time for his development, a big opportunity to impress. It’s hard for young players, with all the razzmatazz that goes with it these days. In my day you had to play five times before anyone knew you, now our best under 14 players are highlighted because that’s the nature of the world. But the world progresses and you have to go with it. We’re really proud of who he is and hopefully with everyone working together he can progress further into our first team and beyond.”



Watch Liam's sensational free-kick above.


Watch Liam's sensational free-kick above.


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