Football

Alan Kelly Becomes Latest Ireland Backroom Team Departure

Alan Kelly Becomes Latest Ireland Backroom Team Departure

Alan Kelly has stepped away from his role as goalkeeping coach in Stephen Kenny's Ireland backroom team.

Kelly's decision was announced late on Tuesday night and came four days after Damien Duff also announced that he was also departing.

In an FAI statement, it's said that Kelly decided to leave "due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic". In November, Kelly decided to not take part in an Ireland camp for a Nations League game against Bulgaria due to concerns about Covid-19. The 52-year-old has asthma.

"Alan called to inform me of his decision and I have accepted it,” said Kenny.

“I want to thank him for his time as goalkeeper coach with me and for his overall contribution to Irish football.”

Kelly had been also been goalkeeping coach during the reigns of Steve Staunton, Giovanni Trapattoni and Mick McCarthy's for his most recent time in charge.

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"With COVID-19 still viciously circulating in our communities, it is with a heavy heart that I have decided the time is right to step down from my role with the Republic of Ireland senior international team and pass on a fantastic group of goalkeepers to a new goalkeeping coach for the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign," said Kelly.

"It has been an absolute honour and a privilege to represent the Republic of Ireland as a player and coach for the last 28 years. A special thank you goes out to all the Irish International goalkeepers I have played alongside and had the good fortune to coach.

"I would like to thank the FAI and wish Stephen, the staff and all the players the very best of luck in the World Cup qualifiers beginning in March and for the future."

Ireland's first games in their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign are against Serbia and Luxembourg in late March.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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PJ Browne
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