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Sunday 22 April 2018

Coleman: 'Players must give their all'

Snub: Liam Kelly
Snub: Liam Kelly

Ireland captain Seamus Coleman has told players like Reading's Liam Kelly that the national team are only interested in footballers who are willing to "give their all" for the cause.

Coleman was asked about the case of Reading midfielder Kelly who, according to Martin O'Neill this week, declined a call-up to the senior squad for tonight's friendly in Turkey.

O'Neill said that Kelly, capped at youth and U21 level by the Republic, informed him by text that he was not coming in for the Turkey trip, O'Neill saying "he's born in England and wants to keep those options open".

No wavering

One report last night suggested that Kelly had not closed the door on Ireland and was open to wearing green again, but for Coleman there should be no wavering.

"Liam was called up and, for whatever reason and whatever advice he was given, he thought it best to decline," Coleman said.

"I can't comment on that, he's a young player and can make up his own mind. The only thing I can comment on is that as a passionate Irishman, we want players who want to play for the country and give it their all."

Kelly, who last played for Ireland in an U21 game in November 2014, has scored six goals in 31 games for Reading this season.

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