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First team

In profile: Lloyd Kelly

AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Lloyd Kelly became the Cherries’ first signing of the summer when he put pen to paper to a long-term deal at Vitality Stadium.

Following the move, we profile the defender's career to date and pick out a selection of images which tell his story. 

Early Years

Kelly is a product of Bristol City’s academy, joining the club’s youth set-up from the age of 12 after being spotted playing locally for Bristol Central FC.  

Working his way up, he soon found himself training with the Robins’ under-23s, having only just finished his GCSEs in 2014.

Alongside playing, Kelly also took up the option of travelling to Botswana with the club’s Community Trust, volunteering while progressing through the ranks.  

It wasn’t long before the promising youngster was invited onto Bristol’s pre-season training camp and he went to Portugal with the first team ahead of the 2015/16 season.

As regular game time for the youth teams came in the following two years, Kelly’s capabilities were documented as he was nominated for the LFE Apprentice of the Year at the climax of the 2016/17 campaign.

Recognised for his performances on the pitch, he was also rewarded for his commitment off it after completing an NVQ (National Vocational Qualification) and passing various coaching courses.  

Breakthrough 

Kelly’s maiden appearance for the Robins came in the League Cup in August 2017, keeping a clean sheet in a 5-0 rout against Plymouth.

He kept his place for the following round just a few weeks later, as Lee Johnson’s side defeated Premier League outfit Watford 3-2 at Vicarage Road.

A few months later and Kelly was handed his league debut against QPR, with his first goal for the club to come just three days later in a 2-0 victory over Reading.

For the remained of the season, the left-back was a mainstay in City’s starting 11, even earning a place in the EFL’s Team of the Week for his performance against Ipswich in March, providing the assist for the only goal in a 1-0 win.

First team regular

As the 2018/19 season got underway, Kelly would enjoy his most successful campaign yet, making 34 appearances in all competitions as the Robins narrowly missed out on a place in the Championship play-offs.

His only goal of the campaign came in September’s 4-2 defeat to West Brom, but he did play a part in nine of his side’s 13 league clean sheets at the back.

International

In August 2017, just a few weeks after his professional debut for City, Kelly received the first of his nine England under-20 caps, coming off the bench in a 3-0 win over the Netherlands.

Two months later and he went on to feature in a 5-1 triumph over Italy, as well as a 4-0 victory over Switzerland, later being given the armband for the Young Lions by manager by Keith Downing.

Earlier this season and Kelly was duly rewarded for his domestic efforts, being given his first call up to the under-21s in November.

With March’s friendly against Poland taking place at Ashton Gate, the defender pulled on the England shirt in front of a home crowd, playing 90 minutes of the 1-1 draw that saw Aidy Boothroyd’s team stretch their unbeaten run to 16. 

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