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Dublin: 4°C Friday 5 March 2021

Ireland international Liam Kelly earns high praise from Jaap Stam following wonder goal

Kelly has played for Ireland at U19 and U21 level and was called into Martin O’Neill’s squad for a World Cup qualifier last year.

Reading v Derby County -  Sky Bet Championship - Madejski Stadium Reading's Liam Kelly celebrates giving his side the lead on Saturday. Source: Paul Harding

LIAM KELLY CONTINUED to turn heads at Reading this weekend, as the Ireland underage international scored a sublime goal from distance during his side’s 3-3 draw at home to Derby.

Kelly hooked the ball flying into Scott Carson’s top corner 30 yards out from goal to give his side the lead at the Madejski Stadium, striking the ball sweetly to bag a goal of the season contender.

The English-born 21-year-old is eligible to play for Ireland through his grandparents and was called into Martin O’Neill’s 39-man squad last March ahead of a World Cup qualifier at home to Wales in Dublin.

The midfielder has started 19 games of 33 for Jaap Stam’s side in the Championship this season, with Saturday’s goal his third so far this campaign.

Kelly has yet to earn his first senior international cap, but has represented Ireland at U19 and U21 level.

“Liam is a quality player,” manager Stam said speaking about the player last year.

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“He is a player who has great skills, he’s very comfortable on the ball and can go past players as well.

“His passing, his technique is world-class.”

On Saturday’s wondergoal against Derby, Stam said: “Liam has great ability to score from positions like that.

“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.”

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