Liam Kelly Would Be A Fine Celtic Backup Option; Experienced, Scottish … And Free.

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Yesterday, I heard a very strong rumour that Liam Kelly, of Motherwell, has already spoken to Brendan Rodgers with a view to joining Celtic. Last night, Stephen McGowan of The Daily Mail broke the story, which was already being discussed on several Celtic fan forums. His was definitely not the exclusive he claims.

I suspect there’s something in this one.

McGowan says he’s available on a free. It makes perfect sense that we would be talking to him. Kelly is a very decent keeper, with a lot of experience. He’s 28, which is a good age for a goalie. Hart is leaving, but it’s highly doubtful he’d be signing as a starter. We couldn’t possibly countenance replacing a top-class player with a Motherwell freebie.

I mean, I’m not a net-spend nut but let’s be realistic; that would be a huge downgrade and everyone would be well aware of it. But he’s a much better keeper than anyone we’ll have left at the club once Hart departs, and on top of that we’re losing Seigrist as well, who I have to be honest is a huge disappointment. I hoped he would be able to challenge whoever was the number one. Keepers do have it harder than other players in the team though.

I am not in the least bit bothered by this story. The departure of David Turnbull actually creates the need for another Scot in the team, and Kelly is a good option.

There are rumours about other players who were developed by Scottish clubs as being possible options, including the former Hearts youth player Marc Leonard. And I’ve heard an interesting rumour about Alan Browne of Preston, a player who is 29 and has 35 caps for Ireland and over 370 for his current club; he’s the club captain and a midfield battler who would bring experience to the club … and like Kelly, his contract is almost up.

It makes sense for us to look at the Bosman market, to see if there are options there. We have a lot of gaps in the squad, sad to say, and we’re working to a budget. Rodgers knows what the team needs and experience is a big part of that … Kelly, at 28 and someone like Browne, at 29, provide would provide that, and for free … so it all makes good sense.

We need to be creative here, and if a couple of the signings come in as freebies that will give us the scope to spend the money on other areas of the team. Over the years, we’ve probably missed out on a number of good players because we have an odd sort of snobbery about signing players on pre-contract deals, and yet one of my favourite players of the last 20 years – Joe Ledley – was a Bosman, and for some reason we’ve steered away from them.

The Daily Record couldn’t resist with splashing the story that in being linked with Kelly we’re being linked with an ex-Ibrox youth player. I laughed at that, because I am guessing that’s supposed to make those who are resistant to the idea even more resistant. They really do think we’re as deranged as the fans across the city who might think that was a deal breaker.

Most of us only care if someone can do a job for us, and I think Liam Kelly can, as a backup to the first choice keeper.

If we’re going for him it’ll be to play that role.

There’s nothing to be concerned about here.

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  • Gerry says:

    Totally agree James ! A good back up, if we can find Hart’s suitable replacement! We’ll miss the big man without a shadow of a doubt! Also agree that there shall be plenty of good back up options on frees!
    As long as we can get rid of the multitude of deadwood and buy quality with an eye towards a good season in Europe !

  • Jim says:

    If we’re looking for a first team ready goalkeeper- and we are – I strongly recommend Michael Cooper at Plymouth Argyle. Only 23 and already has bags of experience. Have been watching him for years with my PAFC son.

    • KC67 says:

      We’ve got more than enough squad filler. A sign of things to come for those renewing their season tickets.

      Lawwell and his slow lane, when will it ever end?

  • Pat says:

    He really wouldn’t. Bain is a more than capable back up. Kelly has committed some howlers this season and his reputation is bizarre. Would touch him with a barge pole.

  • Michael Collins says:

    I’m not sure about Liam Kelly, but I see the sense behind it as a backup keeper. We have never signed a decent goalkeeper from a Scottish club since Ally Hunter from Kilmarnock back in the seventies.
    Rab Douglas done well at times but was inclined to making too many mistakes.

  • Dennis Begley says:

    I’m sure he’ll be better than another former Rangers goalie who ended up playing for us big Gordon Marshall.

  • Clachnacuddin and the Hoops says:

    Slightly off topic as this is a goalkeepers article, but if we need Scottish players in the squad to meet a quota for Europe then how about Lawrence Shankland…

    Sicken The Hun and Score For Fun – (If I’m allowed to mention the Fun word) !!!

  • Martin says:

    Liam Kelly if he comes in should signal the departure of Bain and Siegrist. It’s completely unnecessary to have 3 experienced keepers. And I hope if we are looking for a new #1 (and I really hope we are) we think about the profile. Not enough for someone that looks good in a team where he’s constantly busy. Totally different skillset required at Celtic. I wonder if Brendan’s silver tongue, and the promise of a season in the CL to use as a shop window would secure us De Gea….

  • Effarr says:

    Is it OK to ask what school he went to? An odd name to be associated with OF Sevco A name, like McGrain, that would have been a no, no, no, no in the past..

  • Effarr says:

    Siegrist used to be world class against Celtic, the reason for his signing, but then they all are.

  • Frank Curran says:

    I suppose we could always sign Jack butland from sevco.
    Talk is he is looking to leave sevco because of their deranged fans and fickle manager ? ? ?

  • Henry McDade says:

    Don’t think he would be a downgrade at all. Everytime I see him I think he’s really good – plus Hart is way past his best. A really good option. One final point. His wages will be a lot lower than Hart’s and with no transfer fee, it leaves more money for the really pricey players – like Strikers

  • Jimmy B says:

    Available for free? That’s the magic number. Lawwell will have him earmarked as the new No1. as the downgrade continues. Guaranteed.

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