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Kelly gets maiden call for Ireland senior squad!

13 March 2017

McShane also named in 39-man provisional side

We’re delighted to announce that Royals Academy graduate Liam Kelly has received his first provisional call-up to the Republic of Ireland’s senior squad, ahead of the upcoming international break!

Royals skipper Paul McShane, who already has 33 caps for his country to his name, is also named in Martin O’Neill’s 39-man provisional squad for games against Wales and Iceland.

The 2016/17 campaign has seen an impressive rise for midfielder Kelly – returning from a loan spell in the National League South with Bath City in the summer, he earned a spot in the heart of midfield with Jaap Stam’s Royals.

This time last year, Kelly was representing the Romans on trips to Truro, Concord Rangers and Hayes & Yeading.  This season, he has represented Reading at the Emirates and Old Trafford, and collected the fans’ Player of the Month award in January after triggering a turnaround at Bristol City with the first goal, as well as registering three assists that month.

The midfielder – who penned a new Royals deal in December until 2019 – has been involved in the international setup before, but not since representing the Under-19 squad back in 2014.  And now he faces the prospect of meeting Chris Gunter’s Wales in a World Cup qualifier in Dublin, followed by a friendly fixture with Iceland at the Aviva Stadium.

Kelly’s call is another feather in the cap for our Academy – he joins the growing list of players to have graduated from our youth setup at Hogwood to get senior international recognition.

The final squad will be announced ahead of Sunday 19th March, when they will convene in Dublin for training.

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