Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny has accepted Alan Kelly’s decision to step down as goalkeeper coach.
The 52-year-old former Ireland international, who retained his role when Kenny replaced Mick McCarthy at the helm last year, cited the current Covid-19 pandemic as the reason for his departure.
His departure comes a few days after the coach Damien Duff announced that he was also leaving the staff ahead of the World Cup qualifying campaign.
Kenny said: “Alan called to let me know his decision and I accepted it. I want to thank him for his time as a goalkeeper coach with me and for his overall contribution to Irish football.”
Asthma sufferer Kelly, who won 34 senior caps for Ireland, chose not to travel to Ireland with the team after the November friendly against England at Wembley amid concerns over the cases positive coronavirus in the camp.
Announcing his decision to resign, he said: “While Covid-19 still circulates viciously in our communities, it was with a heavy heart that I decided that the time had come to leave my post with the international team. senior from the Republic of Ireland, and pass on a fantastic group of goalkeepers to a new goalkeeper coach for the upcoming World Cup qualifying campaign.
“It has been an absolute honor and privilege to represent the Republic of Ireland as a player and coach for the past 28 years. A special thank you to all the Irish international goalkeepers that I have played with and have been playing with. had the chance to train.
“I would like to thank the FAI and wish Stephen, the staff and all the players the best of luck in the World Cup qualifiers starting in March and into the future.”
Kelly’s departure follows speculation, vehemently denied by the Preston-born coach, that he had opposed a video shown to Irish players before the match at Wembley and reported the incident to the Football Association of Ireland.