Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly will not return to Republic of Ireland role

Alan Kelly is the latest member of Stephen Kenny’s coaching staff to step down from his role with the Republic of Ireland.

Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has confirmed that he intends to step away from the Ireland coaching set-up, four days after Damien Duff announced his decision to do the same.

Kelly had opted to sit out Ireland’s preparations for November’s Uefa Nations League match against Bulgaria due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the fact that he is asthmatic but at the time, he hoped to return to help Ireland get ready for the World Cup qualifiers in March.

But now Kelly, who previously slammed suggestions that he had anything to do with the dressing room leak around the ‘videogate’ controversy, has now made the decision to call time on his coaching role with Ireland as a result of the ongoing Covid-19 crisis.

“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,” Kelly explained in a statement on FAI.ie.

“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 manager Stephen Kenny, who is still looking for his first win since taking over from Mick McCarthy, will have to recruit some new coaches ahead of a busy period for the national team.

Kenny already reacted to Duff’s departure earlier this week and he released a brief statement on Kelly’s decision.

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