Sheffield United legend Alan Kelly steps down as Republic of Ireland coach amid Covid-19 pandemic

Alan Kelly, the former Sheffield United goalkeeper, has stepped down from his post as the Republic of Ireland’s goalkeeping coach.

Wednesday, 13th January 2021, 10:54 am

Asthma sufferer Kelly, who became a legendary figure between the posts during his time at Bramall Lane, cited the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic as his reason for leaving.

"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 said in a statement.

"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.

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"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."

Manager Stephen Kenny said: "Alan called to inform me of his decision and I have accepted it. I want to thank him for his time as goalkeeper coach with me and for his overall contribution to Irish football."

Kelly, who won 34 caps for the Ireland national team, suffers from asthma and opted not to travel with the Ireland squad late last year amid concerns over positive coronavirus cases within the camp.

Alan Kelly has stepped down from his role as Republic of Ireland goalkeeping coach. Nick Potts/PA Wire.
Alan Kelly won 34 caps for the Republic of Ireland