Skip to content

Access exclusive podcasts, interviews and analysis with a monthly or annual membership

Become A Member
Stam hugs Kelly.
Stam hugs Kelly.
Image: Nick Potts

Jaap Stam sings youngster's praises after first Ireland senior call-up

The Reading boss says his attacking midfielder has earned the international recognition.
Mar 15th 2017, 7:17 PM 12,324 6

TWENTY ONE-YEAR-old Liam Kelly received a spot of enormous news this week.

Martin O’Neill named the Reading attacking midfielder in his provisional 39-man squad for this month’s internationals with Wales and Iceland along with fellow first-timer John Egan.

Royals manager Jaap Stam gave Kelly his senior debut at the start of the season, and he has repaid the faith with a string of encouraging performances.

Despite Kelly’s slight frame, legendary Dutchman Stam — a Premier League and Champions League winner with Manchester United — has high hopes for him.

“I think it’s a great moment for Liam Kelly, and he deserves it as well,” Stam told the club’s YouTube channel.

“He’a very good player in what he has shown this season with us. In the games he’s played, he has been very impressive.

People always talk about his size and if it’s going to be a problem. But if you look at the top sides in Europe and in the world, a lot of players are the same size.

“He has got a lot of quality on the ball and he uses the physique that he has very well — even against big players.

“I’m not saying he’s the same as certain players of, for instance, Chelsea, but it doesn’t mean that you need to be big to perform in the Championship or the Premier League.

“He has been working very hard to prove it and he’s earned the call-up to the national team. It’s a very big compliment. ”

Watch the full interview below:

Source: Reading Football Club/YouTube

The42 is on Instagram! Tap the button below on your phone to follow us!

McGeady looking fitter, Brady and Duffy will be big losses and O’Neill open to paying Sheridan a visit

Euro 2016 hero Robbie Brady dominates FAI Awards nominations

Send a tip to the author

Ben Blake


This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
write a comment

    Leave a comment

    cancel reply
    Back to top