It was a bit of a surprise to learn that Stephen Kelly had been offered a new contract at the end of the season but despite weeks of negotiations, the Republic of Ireland full-back has now decided to leave the club on a free transfer.
Kelly arrived at the Madejski from Fulham in January 2013 and initially helped shore up a defence that had seen both Shaun Cummings and Chris Gunter struggle in the Premier League. However, the appointment of Nigel Adkins just a few weeks later saw Gunter return and since then Kelly has more often than not had to play second fiddle to the Wales international. Spells at left-back also failed to convince and given Gunter and Jordan Obita's relative security in the full-back slots, it's understandable that at 31, Kelly would want to move on to try and earn regular first team football, in what is the year of a major international tournament.
The defender leaves the Madejski Stadium having played 52 games in 2 and a half seasons, scoring once and we here at The Tilehurst End wish him all the best... well, maybe except Westy, who will no doubt be happy to discuss his departure on Thursday night's Tilehurst End Podcast ;)