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Liam Kelly relishing the chance to kick-start his career after sealing a move to Oxford

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Former Ireland Under-21 international Liam Kelly

Former Ireland Under-21 international Liam Kelly

Former Ireland Under-21 international Liam Kelly

Liam Kelly is relishing the prospect of kick-starting his career in English football after sealing a loan move to League One promotion chasers Oxford United.

Kelly, who has been capped by the Republic of Ireland at under-age level, spent an unhappy few months at Feyenoord after making a move from Reading last summer as he followed his mentor Jaap Stam to Holland.

Yet Stam's exit as Feyenoord coach meant Kelly dropped down the pecking order at the Eredivisie club, with Independent.ie revealing earlier this week that Oxford, Sunderland and MK Dons were all eager to sign the 24-year-old playmaker.

He has opted to link-up with Oxford boss Karl Robinson and is ready to embrace the challenge of taking the club into the Championship.

"It's nice when you have a few options, but this was the one that stood out for me the most," said Kelly. "It was an easy decision to come here with where they are in the table. I just want to get in and help the team out."

Robinson has high hopes that Kelly will boost his side's promotion ambitions after the Irish youngster left a mark on him during his days pulling the midfield strings for Reading.

"I remember him playing against us at MK Dons when he was really young and just starting out and he was sensational," Robinson told the Oxford website.

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"I kept an eye on his development under Jaap Stam and he did really well in a side that reached the play-offs in the Championship that year. For someone like Jaap to take him to Feyenoord tells you plenty about him and when the opportunity came about to bring him here I confess I was shocked.

"Right now to have a player like Liam available makes so much sense and I want to thank the Board who made a little headroom to allow me to bring in a player of this quality."

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Independent.ie understands Kelly remains open to reigniting his international career with Ireland, despite claims from former manager Martin O'Neill that he was keen to play for England.


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