Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill may be working on his long-list for the upcoming friendly against Turkey and one name who may be on it is Liam Kelly. And if it’s not, it will soon be after a starring display for Reading in the Championship on Saturday.
There were six goals in all at the Madejski Stadium as the Royals took on Derby County and Kelly was among the scorers as he latched on to a loose clearance to smash a thumping effort into the top left corner of the net, drawing his side level. However, despite the brilliance of Kelly’s strike, it was not to be their day as the game finished 3-3.
— Channel 5 Sport (@Channel5Sport) February 24, 2018
The former Republic of Ireland Under-21 international is a regular in Jaap Stam’s team and was to the fore last season as they reached the play-offs. The goal against derby brought his tally for the season to three in 23 appearances.
After the game Stam was effusive in his praise for Kelly, highlighting the 22-year-old’s aptitude for long-range goals. “Liam has great ability to score from positions like that!” said the Reading boss. “He’s done it before already, and we always tell him that if he’s in positions like that where he can have a shot, that’s what he needs to do. It was a fantastic goal.”
Kelly was not the only Irish goalscorer in the game as Derby’s Richard Keogh hit the back of the net for the first time this season. Both players will be hopeful that the Ireland boss was paying attention as he prepares to finalise his next squad.