Football

Liam Kelly Opens Up On Why He Turned Down Ireland Call-Up

Liam Kelly Opens Up On Why He Turned Down Ireland Call-Up

Liam Kelly hit the headlines last month when Martin O'Neill disclosed that the player had turned down a call-up to the Ireland squad - via text message - for the friendly against Turkey.

At the time, O'Neill said he thought that the diminutive midfielder wanted to "keep his options open" implying that Kelly was biding his time for an England cap.

The English-born Kelly qualifies to play for Ireland through grandparents from Leitrim and Mayo. He has previously represented Ireland at under-19 and under-21 levels.

Speaking to the Reading Chronicle over the weekend, Kelly - who scored from a penalty as Reading drew 2-2 with Sunderland on Saturday - addressed his rejection of the call-up.

"It was a personal reason, it was nothing against Republic of Ireland," said the 22-year-old.

It had nothing to do about feeling English or Irish, it was a personal thing between me and my family which we thought was best.

There’s no ifs and buts about it, it was just how I was feeling at the time.

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The player did not completely shut the door on playing for Ireland. Whether or not O'Neill will give him another chance and if Irish fans will embrace him is another thing.

"We’ll see how it goes," replied Kelly when asked if he could represent Ireland in the future.

Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

See Also: Vincent Kompany Gives Rousing Speech In Pub Of Manchester City Fans

PJ Browne
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