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Interviews

Kelly hoping to blaze trail for young teammates

Young midfielder hopes to pass on guidance to players wanting to follow in his footsteps

19 July 2017

This time last year, Academy product Liam Kelly was in Holland in what was his very first involvement with the first team squad.

Fast-forward to today, and he has established himself as one of the key members of the Royals' squad, with the 21-year-old recently signing a new contract to stay with the club.

Kelly played all 90 minutes against Turkish side Gençlerbirligi at the weekend as he steps up his training ahead of the new season.

Kelly in action in Holland on Saturday evening

He said: "Last year was a good introduction for me into the first team, my first pre-season with them, so it was nice.

"This year, I've slowly broken my way into the team so it's nice to be a part of it more this year.

"From the first day we came in, the gaffer was never scared to give youngsters a chance. If you're good enough, then you'll play. We have quite a young squad anyway, so it's good.

"Last year, there was a lot of us here as well, so we've got a good 10 days for everyone to show themselves.

"There's a lot of training sessions, game time, so hopefully one of them, two of them or even more of them can really kick on and do what I did last year, and join me in the first team."

He went on to praise his more senior teammates as well for creating a welcoming atmosphere for the youngsters in the travelling party to perform.

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Nine young Royals have made the trip with the first team to Oosterbeek, with almost all of them playing against KV Kortrijk at the weekend, with Kelly in the side that took on Gençlerbirligi.

"I know the older lads really welcomed the young lads in," Kelly continued. "For me, being a younger lad but being in the squad I can only help them as well.

"It was really good to get in the swing of the games. Pre-season training is always good but it's nice to get out there and play a game, even if it's just a friendly. It's good to get out there and play 90 minutes."


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