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Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly opts to sit out Bulgaria preparations

Alan Kelly

Ireland goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has explained his reasons for returning home while the national team prepares for tomorrow’s Uefa Nations League game against Bulgaria.

The Republic of Ireland will host Bulgaria on Wednesday night but Alan Kelly will not be putting the goalkeepers through their paces as he has decided to sit out the camp due to concerns about Covid-19.

Responding to the recent positive tests in the Ireland squad, Kelly chose to remove himself from the camp as he is asthmatic.

“I opted to stay behind and return home when the team flew to Dublin on Monday,” former Ireland international Kelly told the FAI website. “This is a personal decision as I am asthmatic.

“This is a very trying time for everyone in football during the pandemic and I have had to take this decision with my own health in mind.

“I want to wish Stephen Kenny, his players and staff the very best of luck for Wednesday night against Bulgaria.”

Alan Kelly

For the second international break in a row, Covid-19 has disrupted Stephen Kenny’s plans as the FAI confirmed on Monday that both Matt Doherty and James McClean had tested positive for coronavirus and had been ruled out of Wednesday’s game, while Alan Browne tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

Kenny has been forced to call on reinforcements due to the combination of positive Covid-19 tests, injuries and suspension.

His starting XI against Bulgaria is likely to be significantly different from his first-choice team as the Ireland boss looks for his first win since taking over from Mick McCarthy earlier this year.

Ireland have just two points in their Nations League group and haven’t scored a goal in any of their last six games.

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