Caoimhín Kelleher grateful for opportunity to develop at Liverpool

Cork keeper has made significant progress despite injury setbacks
Caoimhín Kelleher grateful for opportunity to develop at Liverpool

Liverpool goalkeeper Caoimhin Kelleher warms up before the Premier League match at Anfield, Liverpool. Picture: PA.

CAOIMHÍN Kelleher says Irish dancing has been helping his goalkeeping progression during his breakout season with Liverpool.

The Cork goalkeeper's girlfriend is a talented Irish dancer and has been teaching him some steps with the aim of doing a full dance, although the end results will remain private.

"My girlfriend is very good at Irish dancing, so I've been trying to learn a bit of that," Kelleher told Liverpool's official website.

"I used to do it at school back home, so I've been trying to pick it up because I want to learn it again.

"I've actually been getting on quite good at it, so one day I want to be able to do a full dance or something like that.

"You have to have your feet in great coordination and be able to move them so quickly, so it definitely helps in terms of goalkeeping. It does me no harm.

"I won't be showing it to anybody!"

The Ringmahon Rangers man would have been expected to make his Republic of Ireland debut this week, in Darren Randolph's absence, but an abdominal injury ruled him out of contention.

On U16 duty with Ringmahon Rangers. Picture: Larry Cummins
On U16 duty with Ringmahon Rangers. Picture: Larry Cummins

It's not the first time injury has prevented him from making a potential breakthrough. 

A broken wrist sustained in a bicycle accident during a summer holiday in 2019 kept him out of action when Alisson Becker missed two months with a calf injury at the start of that season.

"I haven't gone on [a bike] since and I won't be going on one for a while, I reckon! I'm a bit scarred from that incident.

"It wouldn't be something I look back on and think [about]. Anything can happen in football. 

"Maybe if I didn't get injured, then maybe Alisson might not have got injured and stuff like that. So you just never know what's going to happen.

I'm so grateful for the opportunities that I've been given and I'm blessed to have had the chances I had this season and for the way it's gone for me.

"I think it came at the perfect time for me when I was fully ready and able to take my chance. I'm looking forward."

STAY FOCUSED

Kelleher's attitude remains the same, keep his head down and take every opportunity as it comes.

"I think I'm just quite laidback and chilled. My girlfriend always says to me, 'Nothing fazes you'. 

"She kind of just laughs at me because I'm always just so chilled. I've always had that trait with me.

"I just like to get on with it and not be in the spotlight. If I had a choice, I wouldn't be but it's part and parcel of what comes with football.

"And I know if you do well on the big stage, you're going to be in the spotlight. But it's not something I particularly enjoy.

"I think I'm just normal. I'm normal, same as all the other lads [at Liverpool] really. 

"The group is just down-to-earth, humble guys. That's why we all gel together so well.

"I'll probably be one of the quieter ones, I've always been a quieter one, but I get on well with all of the lads, we've good craic between all of us. I really enjoy my time in the dressing room."

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