“IF I could, I would train tomorrow. This is a really exciting time in my career, it’s an opportunity I’m really looking forward to and hopefully it all goes well.”
It’s fair to say that new signing Liam Kelly cannot wait to get started at Queens Park Rangers.
The 23-year-old goalkeeper put pen to paper on a four-year contract with the R’s on Friday, having enjoyed a hugely-successful 2018/19 with Livingston in the Scottish Premiership.
Livingston were one of the favourites to be relegated from the SPL last season, having just won promotion, but they secured a ninth-place finish to retain their top-flight status.
Kelly was vital to that. He kept 14 league clean sheets – including one at Parkhead against champions Celtic – as they defied the odds to stay up.
And now the former Scotland U21 international is hoping to build on what was a fantastic season for him and his former club last time out.
“With this move, it just felt like everything fell into place,” said Kelly, who cites his switch to QPR as the highlight of his career to date.
“It felt like the right time for me to try something new and QPR have given me that opportunity to come down [to England]. It was an opportunity that I couldn’t say no to, having known the manager and the way he wants to make his team play.”
Kelly had his first day at Harlington, the club’s training ground, on Thursday afternoon prior to signing and he was greeted by a familiar face.
He worked under manager Mark Warburton at Rangers. He didn’t make an appearance under the boss for the Glasgow giants but he is determined to change that this time around.
Kelly said: “The manager being here was massive in me making my decision. I know the gaffer from my time at Rangers with him, I know everything about him and what he is about.
“How the manager conducts himself is brilliant and he was a big part of my choice to come here. QPR itself is a well-known club all over the world, too, so that attraction was massive. Hopefully I’m here to have a positive impact and to help the club do well.”
Despite knowing the manager, Kelly knows that he’ll have a fight on his hands to get himself into the starting XI.
Joe Lumley was a standout performer between the posts for the R’s last season, while Matt Ingram and youngster Seny Dieng will also want their chances to play.
Kelly insists that he is ready to battle for that number one spot.
“I need to earn my place in the team and that is my immediate goal,” said Kelly, who has earned a reputation as being a goalkeeper who is good with his feet.
“There are some good goalkeepers here and I’m ready for that challenge and will approach it in a positive way and hopefully I’ll get the right outcome.
“I’m well aware of how football works; you play well and you’re in the team, you don’t play well and you’re out the team. I’m aware of that and I’m here to do my best and hopefully that is enough to see me in the team every week and help this club.”