Tonight, Kelly will be at Turner’s Cross raiding the Dundalk right flank. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Tonight, Kelly will be at Turner’s Cross raiding the Dundalk right flank. Photo: Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Daniel McDonnell

The riches earned from their stay at the top of Irish football has allowed Dundalk to shop outside the usual market.

Yet it could be argued that their most effective newcomer this term is an improving talent who was playing amateur football two years ago and selling insurance until last autumn.

Daniel Kelly was one of the stories of last season, with his mid-term move from Bray to Bohemians boosting his profile. The 22-year-old was mixing his football endeavours with life in the real world and a day job selling insurance with Arachas in Sandyford. He quit at the end of the season to give full-time football a crack, and a trial period with Bolton preceded a switch to Dundalk where he has hit the ground running.

It’s a meteoric rise for Kelly, a Ringsend native who was playing for St Patrick’s CY in Ringsend in 2017 while the majority of his current team-mates were immersed in their rivalry with Cork City.

Raiding

Tonight, Kelly will be at Turner’s Cross raiding the Dundalk right flank. He has quickly adjusted to the football challenge under Vinny Perth, but the free time is a new test.

“When I was playing for Bohs last year, it’s tougher because you might finish a game on a Monday night and you’re then sitting in a chair working in insurance for eight, nine hours the next day,” says Kelly.

“At first, I didn’t know what to do with myself on days off. I was nearly getting up at 12.30. I felt like I should have been doing something because I’m so used to it being hectic.

“I didn’t expect to have this life a couple of years ago when I was playing for St Patrick’s Cy but it’s mad the way football can change.”

“We started the season sloppy, but we’ve started to click now,” added Kelly, ahead of a trip to face a Cork team that have won both games under caretaker boss John Cotter.

Irish Independent


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