Kerry FC can confirm that leading goal scorer Ryan Kelliher has signed a long term contract, which will see him stay at the club until the end of the 2025 season.
Kelliher, who is playing in his debut season in the SSE Airtricity First Division has bagged the team 10 goals across both league and cup competitions to date. In the sides two wins to date, Kelliher has scored 4 of the 5 goals on our way to victory. Having played almost 2000 minutes so far in 2023, the number 9 has become one of the first names every week on Billy Dennehy’s team sheet. In 30 games, Ryan has been in the squad for 29 matches, starting in 22 and coming off the bench in 6 games.
Kelliher becomes the first Kerry FC player to sign a professional contract, which in itself becomes a historic moment for the club and the player. Having grown up in Killarney, Kelliher learned his trade in Killarney Celtic before moving into the Kerry FC Academy structures. At the age of 19 and no senior side in Kerry, Ryan made the move back to Killarney Celtic before returning to the club for the 2023 season which is Kerry’s debut season in the League of Ireland
Speaking on signing the contract, Ryan Kelliher said “I’m delighted to have signed a professional contract with Kerry FC and to commit myself to the club into the future. I can see where the club wants to go and the plans in place are really, really positive. I feel like it’s the right thing to do for me and I’m privileged to represent my county wearing the Kerry FC jersey. Up the kingdom!”
Also speaking following the deal, first team manager Billy Dennehy said “I am absolutely delighted that Ryan Kelliher has committed his future to the club for the next two years. He is a player that has come in to League of Ireland level when I was managing the 19’s and I could tell straight away that he had the natural ability. Obviously the previous season, Ryan had no senior team to play on, so again he was a player in the county with the talent to play at a very high level but there was no platform in his local area to accommodate that. So obviously when we were recruiting players, Ryan, like always, put himself forward in the best possible way in relation to his attitude within training and his effort also. The level of effort he gives on the pitch is massive both during training and match days also. This reward is for Ryan on the work he has put in to date. 10 goals in a first season in the League of Ireland is remarkable for a young player in a debut year, but to me it’s a starting block for Ryan and has the potential to go on and score plenty more goals at this level. I think he can keep on improving his all round game and is improving as every game goes by and it is evident when he takes on some established players in the league. And the biggest compliment I can give to Ryan is that his attitude to keep going is something that younger players in the academy can look at and aspire to because his commitment, desire, attitude and work rate is something that has got him to this level and now excelling at this level. Very proud of him and his achievements to date and this is only the start, there will be a lot more to come from our number 9.