Reading midfielder Liam Kelly turned down Republic of Ireland call up for 'personal reasons'
Reading midfielder Liam Kelly has revealed that he turned down a Republic of Ireland call up last month for 'personal reasons'.
The Basingstoke born midfielder said that his decision to remove himself from consideration for last month's friendly with Turkey had noting to do with choosing allegiances between Ireland and his native England.
Kelly has previously played for the Republic of Ireland U19 and U21 squads but has said that his decision to turn down a chance to play for the senior international team was a choice made after consultation between him and his family.
“It was a personal reason, it was nothing against Republic of Ireland," Kelly told the Reading Chronicle.
“It had nothing to do with feeling English or Irish, it was a personal thing between me and my family which we thought was best.
“There are no ifs and buts about it, it was just how I was feeling at the time."
Kelly's comments follow Ireland manager Martin O'Neill's remarks last month where the Derry native said that he had tried to call the 22-year-old regarding selection only to be told that he wants to keep his options open via text message.
"You might want to ask about Liam Kelly, who I think wants to keep his options open at this minute," O'Neill said before last month's loss to Turkey in Antalya.
"Obviously he's born in England and wants to keep those options open and that's fine. What did I do? I did actually leave a message or two and he got back to me by text.
"I've always said here that it's the player's choice. It's exactly what it is and if he wants to think that England might come in, that's entirely his decision."