A campaign set up to find a new club for former Derry City goalkeeper Rory Kelly has become one of the most popular trends on the social media site Twitter.
by Eoghain McKane
The trend called ‘#findroryaclub’ was set up with the aim of helping the former Derry City and Finn Harps goalkeeper secure a contract at a club for the forthcoming season and has received the backing from former Derry City players including Burnley and Northern Ireland full back, Danny Lafferty and Nottingham Forest winger Stephen McLaughlin.
The trend became so popular that it was the third most tweeted trend and Rory jokingly described the campaign as “more than a movement.” It became a more popular trend than Irish celebrity twins Jedward, chatshow host Graham Norton and the island of Ireland itself. It reached to all corners of Ireland, parts of England and even stretched as far as New York and Australia.
And Kelly was surprised at how popular and quickly the campaign evolved.
“I was really surprised,” said Rory. “I thought it would sort of just be between my mates and all, but it spread really quickly.”
Gathering Pace The twitter trend quickly gathered pace and was tweeted more than 100 times.
Some of those promoting the campaign decided to take an alternative approach and posed for pictures while holding ‘#findroryaclub’ signs .
Following the popularity of the trend Kelly tweeted that he would give up his first week wages for his new club if the trend was successful.
As yet, the former Derry reserve keeper hasn’t heard word back from any club but he remains hopeful the campaign can prove successful.
Regarding his free agent situation he said: “It’s difficult for players like myself who may not have neccesarily played much at clubs, to actually attract a bit of interest. But hopefully something will come from this.”
The 21 year old goalkeeper from Buncrana narrowly missed out on securing a professional contract with either Leyton Orient and Swindon Town. Rory’s team lost 3-2 in the final which was played at Orient’s Matchroom Stadium on Wednesday last week. Kelly had been one of of 5,000 players to go through to the final of the Samsung Win a Pro contract tournament.
He said “I thought I played well, but we lost the match and conceded two penalties although I nearly saved the second penalty.”
Leyton Orient boss Russell Slade had some advice for the shot stopper:
“Although it hasn’t worked out for Rory this time, he shouldn’t give up.
“He obviously loves the game otherwise he wouldn’t have put himself through this process.
He continued; “Rory should keep working hard and aim to play football at the highest level possible for him.
“The final was at a really good standard, very competitive right from the start. All of the players showed terrific commitment and effort.”
Despite not being selected after the final Rory remains positive.
“Sometimes things don’t work out the way you want it to work out. it was a great experience and a fantastic thing to be a part of.”
And he has high hopes that a club takes notice of the ‘#findroryaclub’ trend.
As well as playing football he has plans to continue finishing his degree at John Moores University in Liverpool.
He said “My only plans now are to head back to Liverpool, finish my degree, keep on training and make a few calls to get football sorted for next year.”
The trend is still ongoing, and Kelly admits; “it would be nice to see it kept going.”
“It is nice to see all these people supporting me, and hopefully they continue to do so,” he concluded.