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Liam Kelly Earns First Ever Call-Up To Ireland Senior Squad

It's reward for some impressive performances in his breakthrough campaign.

Reading v AFC Bournemouth - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Ben Hoskins/Getty Images

Congratulations are in order for Liam Kelly, who has earned a call-up to Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland squad for the first time. Just a year ago the midfielder was playing in the National League South for Bath City, but he has had an impressive breakthrough campaign at Reading in 2016/17, which has seen him feature against Arsenal and Manchester United as well as win the TTE Player of the Month award for both December and January.

Kelly has previously featured for Ireland's Under-19 and Under-21 squads, scoring this absolute wonder goal against Sweden:

He is joined in the squad by club captain Paul McShane who has 33 caps for his country, as well as former Royals Alex Pearce, Jonny Hayes, Shane Long and Kevin Doyle. It is worth noting that this is only a 39-man provisional squad which will be cut when Ireland play Iceland and Chris Gunter's Wales in two weeks time.

Also in international news, Deniss Rakels has been called up to the Latvian squad for their World Cup qualifier against Switzerland and friendly against Georgia. It is a promising sign for the fitness of the 24 year old, who has not played for Reading since injuring his ankle against MK Dons in August.