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Ed Lewis

Ed Lewis writes

Posted Saturday, May 18th 2019

Kelly departs for the Premier League

Bristol City would like to thank Lloyd Kelly and wish him well for the future as he joins Premier League outfit AFC Bournemouth for a club record transfer fee.

The 20-year-old passed a medical with the south coast side earlier today and has agreed terms on a long-term contract.

Albeit saddened to see the Academy product depart, Kelly is supported in his decision and the club is excited to watch him compete in the top tier of English football next season.

Head Coach Lee Johnson said: “Lloyd has been a pleasure to work with. I’ve very much enjoyed watching his journey from the Academy to the first team, to playing for England Under-21s, training with England’s first team and now his Premier League move.

“We wish him all the very best at Bournemouth and he will always be welcome back at Ashton Gate. I hope to stay in touch – best of luck Lloyd.”

Chief Executive Officer Mark Ashton commented: “We are immensely proud that Lloyd has come through our system and whilst it’s always sad to see an Academy graduate leave the football club, this is an offer we felt we couldn’t refuse.

“We have thoroughly enjoyed working with Lloyd and we wish him all the best moving forward.”

Kelly joined the Academy aged 12, having been recruited locally playing for Bristol Central. 

His first notable involvement with the first team squad arrived in 2014 when he travelled to Botswana with Bristol City Community Trust as part of the club’s pre-season training camp. 

Kelly visits Botswana with the Community Trust

As he continued to work his way through the age groups and patiently wait for his senior debut, Kelly was included in the travelling party for City’s pre-season visit to Portugal in 2015/16, but it would be another two seasons before his breakthrough. 

However, since making his first team bow in the 2017/18 Carabao Cup first round victory over Plymouth Argyle - the same season he was named the Senior Reds’ Young Player of the Year - the left-back hasn’t looked back. 

The left-back is presented with his Young Player of the Year accolade

Kelly’s first goal for the club arrived in front of the South Stand on his fourth appearance, helping secure a Boxing Day victory over Reading. He then went on to make a further 10 appearances in his debut campaign. 

Kelly celebrates his first goal in City colours

And away from the pitch, Kelly has endorsed his role model status by acknowledging the communities importance and supporting the work of the Community Trust, Academy projects and other local charities. 

Posing for photos at the Community Trust's holiday camps

With a further 34 appearances under his belt in the 2018/19 season, the England Under-21 international played a significant role in helping the club achieve its highest league finish for 11 years.

A fan favourite and one of our own, Kelly has made a total of 48 appearances in City colours, netting twice, and has impeccably demonstrated the effectiveness and importance of the club’s Academy pathway. 

Everyone connected with the club wishes him well and he will always be welcome back to Ashton Gate.