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Dublin: 4°C Monday 19 April 2021

Liverpool's Irish goalkeeper on 'crazy' experience facing Man City and Man United

Cork native Caoimhin Kelleher has enjoyed pre-season and says he has already learned from the club’s new number one, Alisson.

Kelleher in pre-season action for Liverpool against Manchester City.
Kelleher in pre-season action for Liverpool against Manchester City.
Image: Julio Cortez

IT’S BEEN A productive summer for 19-year-old Caoimhin Kelleher.

The Cork goalkeeper was included in Liverpool’s squad for their pre-season trip to the US, and featured in friendly wins over Premier League rivals Manchester City and Manchester United — the second game taking place in front of 100,000 fans.

“It’s been crazy, playing the Man City and Man United games,” Kelleher told “I wasn’t expecting to play really, but to get the opportunity was just unbelievable.

“It was amazing, seeing all the crowd and stuff. I really enjoyed it.

I trained with them [the senior side] last year but to actually play this year has been crazy. It’s been unreal.

“I’ve been happy, I think I’ve done well. Every day we train hard with the ‘keepers, we all push each other to do our best every day and I think that’s all you can do really, do your best, so I’ve been happy.”

Former Ringmahon Rangers stopper Kelleher, who joined the Reds in 2015, is now at the club’s training camp in France ahead of Saturday’s meeting with Napoli at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

New €75 million signing Alisson has also linked up with his new team-mates in Evian, and Kelleher has been impressed by the Brazilian number one.

“I’ve learned a lot from him already,” he added. “He’s a top-class goalkeeper and a really nice guy as well which helps. I’m just trying to learn as much as I can from him really.

“He’s a really good shot-stopper and he’s really quick, so I’m learning little things off that. He’s Brazilian as well, so he’s got a few skills!”

Brazil v Switzerland - FIFA World Cup 2018 - Group E - Rostov Arena Brazilian goalkeeper Alisson. Source: DPA/PA Images

Once pre-season ends, the Ireland U19 international will be hoping to develop further this year by lining out for Liverpool’s U23s.

“I think it’s just to try to get regular game time with the U23s and keep training up at Melwood every day and improving,” Kelleher said.

“To train every day with the first team is obviously the best experience you can get. It improves you so much.”

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Ben Blake

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