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Dublin: 6°C Monday 19 April 2021

Reading's Ireland U21 international continues to impress by picking up man-of-the-match award

Liam Kelly was the star of the show in Reading’s win over Cardiff.

LIAM KELLY’S BREAKTHROUGH season at Reading is going from strength to strength.

The Ireland youth international, who only made his debut for the Royals back in August in an EFL Cup tie against MK Dons, was named his side’s man of the match in the win over Cardiff City in the Championship today.

In the process, Reading reclaimed third place in the table, moving ahead of Leeds, but are still six points behind Newcastle, who sit in the final automatic spot with the Magpies also having a game in hand.

Liam Kelly twitter

It has been quite the rise for the 21-year-old. In October, he was taken off after just 28 minutes on his league debut by manager Jaap Stam as Reading struggled to cope with Rotherham’s direct approach, but Kelly has bounced back in admirable fashion.

Technically good on the ball, the attack-minded youngster has gone on to make a further 12 league appearances so far this season, contributing four assists and one goal.

Stam is a known admirer of the diminutive midfielder, and rewarded Kelly with a new three-year contract at the end of last year.

Having come through Reading’s Academy, Kelly has never been shy to try the spectacular, with this audacious free-kick for their U18 side against Bolton just one of his highlights from the club’s youth system.

Source: Reading Football Club/YouTube

A senior call-up to the international side may be too soon for Kelly, but his impressive debut season will be welcome news to Ireland manager Martin O’Neill.

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