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Dublin: 16 °C Sunday 27 May, 2018

Jaap Stam heaps more praise on Liam Kelly after two stunning goals for Reading

The Ireland U21 international bagged a brace as the Royals beat Gillingham in the League Cup last night.

CHAMPIONSHIP CLUB READING faced League One opponents Gillingham in the first ground of the Carabao Cup last night.

Royals boss Jaap Stam took the opportunity to field a youthful side, with 10 players from the club’s academy in the 18-man squad.

Reading v Gillingham - Carabao Cup - First Round - Madejski Stadium Kelly (centre) celebrates with the Reading players. Source: Andrew Matthews

But it was 21-year-old Liam Kelly who proved the star of the show with a couple of beautifully-taken goals.

The attacking midfielder struck a ferocious first-time shot into the top corner on 71 minutes before adding another in the dying seconds as Reading won out 2-0.

Dubliner Stephen Quinn was also a second-half substitute.

Ireland U21 international Kelly was called into a provisional senior squad by Martin O’Neill back in March, and he will be hoping to build on the progress made last season.

Source: Sampa KoooraHD-TV/YouTube

“Liam is a player who everybody knows and he came from our academy,” Stam said after the final whistle.

He had a great season last season and he wants to improve himself again this season. He did it today with two great goals. “

“You want to bring in good players with the ones we already have,” he added. “Our philosophy is to bring young players into the squad and to educate them in terms of how they need to be as human beings, and how to play the Reading way.

“Liam Kelly has done that when we gave him the opportunity. He has made enormous progress.”

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