Caoimhin Kelleher is a fan of his new nickname.
Caoimhin Kelleher has warmly received a nickname created for him by Liverpool teammate James Milner.
Among the Liverpool squad, the Ireland goalkeeper is now known as the ‘octopus’, thanks to Milner referring to the Corkman as such during pre-season training this summer.
“Caoimh is like an octopus today,” Milner was heard saying, noting the number of saves being pulled off by the 22-year-old as he continued to impress his Liverpool teammates.
Kelleher has now confirmed that he is a fan of the nickname, in an interview with the official Liverpool FC magazine.
Liverpool teammates full of encouragement for Kelleher.
“It was quite a compliment, but the senior players are quite complimentary here,” the goalkeeper said.
“They’ll let you know if you’re doing well and that’s good because it boosts your confidence as well when you hear players of their stature giving you praise.”
Kelleher will have an opportunity to show off his octopus-like reflexes in front of the Dublin crowd for the first time on Tuesday as he prepares to make his home debut for the senior Republic of Ireland team.
The Liverpool stopper has had to watch on as Gavin Bazunu has nailed down Stephen Kenny’s number one spot but speaking to reporters on Monday, Kelleher indicated that he could be playing from the start in the friendly against Qatar.
Caoimhin Kelleher impressing for club and country.
“Hopefully I’ll get the opportunity tomorrow, it would be nice to make my first start,” Kelleher said during Tuesday’s press conference. “I have family coming to watch the game, it’ll be special.”
While Kelleher seems to be second-choice behind Bazunu at the moment, Kenny is always keen heap praise on all of his goalkeepers, often answering questions about Bazunu with kind words for the likes of Kelleher and Mark Travers.
Kelleher learning from Alisson.
Whatever happens in the battle for the Ireland number one shirt, 22-year-old Kelleher has a bright future and, according to himself, he couldn’t have a better teacher than current Liverpool first-choice Alisson Becker.
“I just want to push Alisson as far as I can in training every day and to learn as much as I can as well. When I get opportunities to play I want to do the best I can and just keep performing well,” he says in the aforementioned interview with the Liverpool magazine.
You’ll be able to see how Kelleher gets on on Tuesday when Ireland take on Qatar at the Aviva Stadium. Everything you need to know about the match, including kick-off time and TV channel can be found here.