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13th Jan 2021

Goalkeeping coach Kelly follows Duff out the door


Stephen Kenny will need to find a new goalkeeping coach for the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign with Alan Kelly deciding to leave the camp.

Coming less than a week after Damien Duff had also called time on his involvement, the 52-year-old goalkeeping coach released a statement to the FAI late on Tuesday night in which he referenced the Covid-19 pandemic as a factor in his decision.

“With COVID-19 still viciously circulating in our communities,” the statement reads, “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.

“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.”

Kelly made 34 appearances for Ireland as a goalkeeper and was latterly involved as goalkeeping coach. Recently, he had to come out and deny speculation that he was responsible for the leak surrounding Kenny’s motivational team-talk prior tho the England game. Kenny thanked Kelly for his contribution to Irish football.

“Alan called to inform me of his decision and I have accepted it,” Stephen said. “I want to thank him for his time as goalkeeper coach with me and for his overall contribution to Irish football.”

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