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First team

Kelly: I can't wait to start playing

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Lloyd Kelly became the Cherries' first signing of the summer, putting pen to paper on a long-term deal.

The 20-year-old arrives from Bristol City, where he made a total of 48 appearances across two seasons. 

Kelly, who is an England Under-21 international, spoke to afcb.co.uk about arriving down south and the challenge ahead upon signing for the club. 

On signing…

I’m overwhelmed really and I don’t really know what to say! It’s fantastic club and the move has come around quite fast. I’m just happy to be here and can’t wait to start playing.

It’s been a whirlwind! From finding out that the club were interested in me to then meeting with the gaffer. From there, it’s just gone so fast from me being in Bristol to coming down here and now signing.

On the manager…

When I met with the manager, he gave me the confidence and the trust that I can come here and make my way into the team. Premier League football is what I’ve always wanted to achieve and I want to play as many games as possible. I feel that this is the club to do so.

Speaking to the gaffer, he feels like it’s a 50-50 split between his responsibility and my responsibility to make sure I come back after the summer and push on. I want to make a name for myself at my new club and that’s my intentions for the season coming.

On developing as a player…

I haven’t processed it all, it’s been a fast 24 hours but the past season as a Bristol player has been good. However, I always saw myself as a Premier League player and I feel like this is the right club for me to take that step.

There’s going to be things that I still need to learn as I’m still young and developing as a player. At same time, this is the best place for me to develop those skills. Being around a Premier League team that has been playing against Premier League sides will speed up the process.  

I feel like here, it doesn’t matter about your age and if you’re good enough then you’ll play. You just have to take the opportunity when it comes.

On his position…

Over the past season or two I have been mainly playing at left-back for Bristol.

On international duty, though, I do often play as a left-sided centre-back. I do see myself adapting to that role as my career develops, but it’s always good to be able to play a couple of positions.

On familiar faces…

I spoke to a few of them. I spoke to Aaron Ramsdale and Dominic Solanke a few days back and they said that it’s an exciting club with a lot going for it.

The trust is there for young players and that was a big thing for me.  

On the summer…

It’s quite a jam-packed summer for me we’ve got training camps leading up to the European Finals in June. If I’m picked, I’m going to go out there and try to bring back silverware so it should be interesting.

I’m hoping for a lot, but it’s my responsibility to come back and show what I can do. I’m really looking forward to it, meeting the boys and getting to know my way around the place.

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