Liam Kelly: Reading man turns down Republic to keep England option open

Liam Kelly (left) in action for Reading
English-born Liam Kelly (left) has played for the Republic's Under-18s and Under-21s

Reading's Liam Kelly has declined a place in the Republic of Ireland squad for Friday's friendly against Turkey to keep his England option open.

Midfielder Kelly, 22, was named in a 30-man squad for the Antalya game but did not travel to Turkey on Monday.

"He's born in England and wants to keep those options open and that's fine," said Republic boss Martin O'Neill.

Kelly has played for the Republic's Under-18s and Under-21s but could still switch allegiance to England.

"I've always said here 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," added O'Neill.

Asked if he had spoken to the player, who had twice before been named in provisional squads, O'Neill continued: "I did actually leave a message or two and he got back to me by text."

Basingstoke-born Kelly was one of a new group of players whom O'Neill turned to in his attempts to re-shape the squad after the Republic missed out on World Cup qualification.

Of those who did make it on to the plane, there are eight uncapped players - Aaron McCarey, Kieran O'Hara, Matt Doherty, Declan Rice, Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams, Enda Stevens and Scott Hogan - all of whom trained on Tuesday.

Only Newcastle defender Ciaran Clark sat out having played in his side's friendly against Royal Antwerp in Spain on Sunday.

Republic of Ireland squad

Goalkeepers: Colin Doyle (Bradford City), Kieran O'Hara (Manchester United), Aaron McCarey (Ross County)

Defenders: Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Fulham), Matt Doherty (Wolverhampton Wanderers), Declan Rice (West Ham United), Shane Duffy (Brighton & Hove Albion), Ciaran Clark (Newcastle United), Kevin Long (Burnley), Alex Pearce (Derby County), Darragh Lenihan, Derrick Williams (both Blackburn Rovers), Enda Stevens (Sheffield United)

Midfielders: Alan Judge (Brentford), Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa), Jeff Hendrick (Burnley), David Meyler (Hull City), Eunan O'Kane (Leeds United), Alan Browne, Daryl Horgan (both Preston North End), James McClean (West Bromwich Albion)

Forwards: Shane Long (Southampton), Scott Hogan (Aston Villa), Sean Maguire (Preston North End)

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