Caoimhín Kelleher has indicated that he will make a decision on his club future in the coming weeks as he prepares for his biggest week in the Irish jersey.
he Liverpool number two has been given the opportunity to play all four games in this Nations League window by an injury to Gavin Bazunu, and views it as his opportunity to nail the number one spot.
Kelleher has functioned as a deputy with both club and country over the last years and he was asked about his Liverpool situation when facing the media today.
Last October, the Corkman said he was ‘comfortable’ where he was when pressed on his club situation.
He struck a slightly different tone in this Abbotstown appearance.
“I’m not sure on what’s happening yet. I’m still finishing this season and then we will have conversations after that to see what happens,” said Kelleher, who only signed a new long-term Anfield deal last summer.
Pressed on a somewhat surprising initial response, Kelleher was asked if he was tempted by the idea of a move away.
“I’m not sure yet,” said the 23-year-old. “Obviously I need to play these few games and see what happens with these and maybe decide after that.”
The highlight of Kelleher’s season was a central role in Carabao Cup final over Chelsea, with a penalty shootout conversion adding to the buzz with his image duly added to a mural at the club’s training ground which carries the image of their cup winning keepers.
“Obviously it was a special moment for me,” continued the Ringmahon Rangers product.
“To win a cup with such a big club like Liverpool was obviously a great moment. When you do it once, you kind of want to do it again and again, and get that feeling again.
“It’s given me great motivation to try to do it again and get those experiences again. And it makes you proud, proud to be on a wall with legends like that.”
Bazunu’s decision to leave Manchester City on loan in search of regular football has been viewed as an advantage in terms of his development.
Kelleher made eight appearances at club level this term, whereas Bazunu and number three option Mark Travers played full seasons at Portsmouth and Bournemouth respectively.
“It would be really good to hopefully play a few more games,” said Kelleher, speaking with regard to the Irish situation and the door that has opened for him this week.
“To play the last few has been really good for me, it’s great to get games in at international level. It’s a very high level and it’s really good for my development.
“I don’t know what’s going to happen at club level obviously but if you keep performing when you get the chance, hopefully I can stay in and keep hold of the jersey.
“If you perform when you get here, I don’t know if that’s good enough or what the situation is. I was lucky I was selected when Gavin got injured. Hopefully I can put in the performances to justify that decision and hopefully it stays the same.
“It’s unfortunate what happened to Gavin, I wouldn’t wish injuries on anyone. But it is hopefully an opportunity for me to get in and do a good job and try to hold onto the shirt.”
Kelleher made his competitive debut in Saturday’s defeat to Armenia, and admitted the travelling camp could have no real complaints about the outcome.
He said the collective response in the aftermath has been to ‘let go’ of what happened and focus on Wednesday’s visit of Ukraine.
“Obviously we didn’t play our best, it was disappointing not to give the fans who travelled over, and made the long journey over a result and performance they deserve. There was a big disappointment in the whole camp after the result.
“We probably didn’t create enough clear-cut chances to say we deserved to win. It’s not easy to play against a team that sits back behind the ball and is defensive like that but no, I don’t think we played our best and we didn’t create enough clear-cut chances to say we deserved to win.”
And what of Eduard Spertsyan’s winner?
“It’s obviously a great strike but you can try to do things to prevent it, keep the ball before it and maybe getting up to the ball a bit quicker and trying to get a block on it,” he replied.
“But you have to give credit to their player as well.”