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Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 16 June 2009 18:08 UK

Kelly swaps Birmingham for Fulham

Stephen Kelly
Kelly broke into the Tottenham first team in 2004

Birmingham City right-back Stephen Kelly has signed a three-year deal with Fulham on a free transfer following the expiry of his contract at St Andrew's.

"I'm delighted to have joined a progressive club which has recently achieved its highest ever top-flight finish," the defender said.

The 25-year-old made six appearances while on loan at Stoke last season.

He also played every minute of Blues' unsuccessful fight against Premier League relegation in 2007-8.

Kelly missed much of the early part of last season with a thigh injury and was allowed to leave for a temporary stint with Tony Pulis's Stoke side in February, after the arrival of fellow Republic of Ireland international Stephen Carr and Portsmouth's Djimi Traore at St Andrew's.

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But he made only two starts for the Britannia Stadium side as he found his way into the side blocked by the solid form of right-back Andy Wilkinson.

He will compete with John Pantsil for the same role at Craven Cottage and will face a similarly tough task to win a regular first-team slot after the Ghana international missed just one game of the west London side's Premier League campaign.

"Stephen is a talented young full-back with experience of playing in the Premier League as well as competing at international level," said Hodgson.

"He will be a useful addition as we look to improve our squad ahead of the start of next season and I am hopeful that we will be able to announce further additions in the coming weeks."

Kelly is a graduate of Tottenham's youth academy and played 44 times for Spurs before heading to Birmingham in a £750,000 switch in June 2006.



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see also
Stoke complete Kelly loan switch
04 Feb 09 |  Stoke
Kelly completes Birmingham switch
28 Jun 06 |  Birmingham


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