An integral part of the team since our days in League Two, Liam Kelly has once again demonstrated his importance at Coventry City by playing a key organising role in midfield at Championship level. A steadying and physical presence in midfield, Kelly has helped reduce the flow of opposition attacks heading in the direction of a defence that had conceded at a rate of two goals a game in the opening weeks of the season, which made the team more competitive and seen results pick up. Kelly even capped off his 100th league appearance for the club by scoring twice the number of goals he had managed in total in the previous 99.
There was some concern heading into the season surrounding Liam Kelly’s ability to adapt to Championship football. While he had briefly played at that level before, much of the experience that Kelly has comes from Leagues One and Two, as well as the Scottish Premiership. With the team lacking players of Championship experience, it was vital that Kelly could bring the steadying and physical qualities he possesses into a league played at a higher pace than he is used to. It speaks to Kelly’s nous as a footballer that the increase in quality hasn’t really affected how he’s gone about his business.
At the age of 30, there may come a time in the next few years where we have to look to move beyond Liam Kelly. He is going to be a hard player to replace because of the intangible qualities that he brings to the team in terms of his calmness and leadership. Fortunately, Kelly’s performances in this season thus far have suggested that the search for his replacement doesn’t have to be urgent.