#FM17 | Reading FC | Liam Kelly development

From not needed to key player. That’s the story of midfielder Liam Kelly in my FM17 save with Reading FC. This article will be something similar like the previous one about Danny Loader but there will be not too many goals in the fifth season like Loader scored. 

Liam Kelly was 20 years old at the start of the save and he was one of many in the Under 23s Squad listed for loan and also transfer listed.


I changed that immediately and moved him to the Senior Squad because I wanted to build the starting XI not around him but with him for sure.

Liam Kelly at the start of the save

Liam’s best rated role is Shadow Striker and second one is Advanced Playmaker. As I played with 4-3-3 formation during the first one and half season with defensive forward, target man and deep lying forward at top. I played Liam as Deep Lying Forward and he was trained for this role as well.

There were better forwards than Liam, that’s sure but I did not want to lose him and did not want to loan him out of the club.

Stats from the first season are not impressive as you can think but I was happy with his contribution. He took a part in 26 (13 in the starting XI) league matches and he scored two goals and made seven assists.

“Kelly’s development has been helped by gaining match experience at a higher level than before.”

The second season have to be divided in two parts because I changed our primary formation during this season. He played as DLF and scored five goals in 14 matches until december 2017.

After some small injuries he came back to team when we started to play with the new formation. It was 4-3-1-2 and during the first weeks I use Shadow Striker and Kelly played there. He finished this season nine goals and three assists in the Championship.

Liam Kelly – 2018

If some of my players in this save benefited from tactical changes it has to be Liam. I changed the role for attacking midfielder from shadow striker to advanced playmaker with support duty and decided Liam will be my first choice over Josh Barrett.

Liam found himself in this role and he was our main attacking power in terms of passing play between forwards and central midfield trio.

You should read more about his role in this article when I wrote about his importance…

Liam Kelly is my main Advanced Playmaker. I started with Shadow Striker role there but in combination of Target Man and Poacher the Shadow Striker was too high and I was lucky that these three players not injured themselves as they were too close to each other. Attacking Playmaker with support duty is more deeper and he can distribute passes around penalty area or through to one of striker.


The third season was very good as we won the promotion to the Premier League and Kelly was one of our key players. He scored 8 goals and made 11 assists in the 42 apperances in Championship and he was named in Reading Seasonal Best Eleven for the third year in a row.

Liam Kelly Stats 2018/2019

If you follow me on Twitter you probably noticed some of the videos of Kelly’s goals I shared there.

His attribute of Free Kicks Taking is 15 and he is our main free kicks or corner kicks taker and he scored some great goals from free kicks during this save. For example…

In our last two season when we played in the Premier League Liam Kelly was still our key player. We finished seventh in the table in our first season back in the top flight and he played 28 league matches, scored five and made three assists. Four from five goals he scored from penalties.

Liam Kelly 2020

The second season in the Premier League was great for almost all of our players as you could read about our title race there. The main man was Danny Loader who scored 29 league goals but Liam Kelly not left behind.

He played 30 league matches, scored eight and made six assists. He was also very important player in our Europa League campaign as we reached Final. He had 7.31 average rating in Europa League and 7.11 in Premier League.

Liam Kelly Stats 2020/2021

Analysis – Advanced Playmaker Role

I will not write much in depth of this role but I want to show you some basic things from analyse screen in the game.

I chose Premier League match against Cardiff City. We won 3-0 away and Liam scored the first goal of the match.

Heat Map & Touches

As you can see he had 50 passes completed, 6 intercepted, 50 received passes and 7 gained possession. He also had 11 lost possession.


And the last screen from the match against Cardiff City with everything in one picture.


Changes of some attributes during the last five seasons of this save.


I have to say Liam Kelly is one of my favorite young players and I really hope he will be a good player for Reading in real life (he got some playing time in recent weeks under Jaap Stam what is great).

This is his profile after the Premier League title in 2021 in my save.


Thanks for reading, @KeysiRensie.



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