When he was on the bench at QPR, Motherwell were there to give him the minutes he needed – and Liam Kelly didn’t forget that show of faith when it came to making his next move.

Motherwell secured a transfer coup last week as goalkeeper Kelly joined the cinch Premiership club on a three-year deal. He had spent the second half of last season on loan from QPR and was vital to Motherwell’s survival bid, winning Players’ Player of the Year.

Motherwell goalkeeper Liam Kelly during a Scottish Premiership match between St Mirren and Motherwell at The SMISA Arena on January 09 in Motherwell,...

Kelly joined Motherwell on loan in January. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Interest from other teams cropped up this summer off the back of this, but for Kelly, he was happy to bide his time and wait for Motherwell: “I’m really happy that the club showed an interest in bringing me back and it was a no-brainer, really. There were other offers, and I was very appreciative of other teams being interested in me.

“There were things to weigh up, and things I had to work out in my own head – I had to make a decision myself. Ultimately, I’m happy and content with the decision that I made. I’m delighted Motherwell came in for me in January, so there’s an element of loyalty as well that came into my decision to come back here.

“They’ve played me every game since I’ve been here. You don’t get a lot of loyalty these days, but I felt that from Motherwell. I felt the trust from the manager, the staff, and the goalkeeping coach, there was a massive element of trust towards me on the pitch.”

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Manager trust. (Photo by MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Kelly still had two years on his deal in the English Championship with QPR, but he wasn’t content with sitting behind Loftus Road number one Seny Dieng. A long-term commitment to Motherwell made sense after an encouraging six-month stint.

He said: “It’s a three-year deal, and it made sense for everybody. I had two years left at QPR, but ultimately this became like a separate deal, a new deal, and a fresh start. A three-year deal made sense to me, it made sense to the club, and that’s why we went with it. I’m delighted at everything getting over the line.

“Off the pitch, [chief executive] Alan Burrows has been great, I’ve been in constant dialogue with him over the summer, and it has been good. We were aware of the situation, what we wanted to happen, and we got there in the end.”

V MOTHERWELL.RAYDALE PARK - GRETNA.Motherwell chief executive Alan Burrows

Burrows was helpful. (Photo by Ross MacDonald/SNS Group via Getty Images)

The long-term security is great for Kelly off the pitch, but his main motivating factor for joining Motherwell was regular minutes. ‘Well manager Graham Alexander backs the 25-year-old to be a leader in the changing room after the goalkeeper’s impact at Fir Park in his opening six months.

He’s thankful for QPR and his time in London, but Kelly wants to return to the form he showed in Lanarkshire last season: “It became apparent that I wasn’t going to be used as much (at QPR) as I would like to have been used and ultimately I would rather play for somebody than watch someone else play.

“I loved my time at QPR. There is a lot of good people there. (I have) nothing bad to say about them but that’s football sometimes, you just go your separate ways. That six months with Motherwell and my first six months with Livingston were right up there.

“That’s because I was really enjoying my football. I really enjoyed the way we played and we got a lot of good results. I trust the process that is here as it got me good results, so it’s about repeating that. I try and be myself and get on with everybody. I don’t see myself as a leader, but I’ll try and be myself, hopefully that’s good enough.”

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