Everton goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly has revealed his deep admiration for manager Carlo Ancelotti began long before the Italian’s arrival at the Club - and why this feeling has been enhanced by working closely with a “wonderful man and a fantastic boss”.
Kelly explained how he gained “so much wisdom” from reading Ancelotti’s widely-acclaimed Quiet Leadership book, which provides an insight into the methods and psychology that have underpinned the Everton manager's incredible success in the game.
The 61-year-old has won 20 major trophies as a manager, including league titles in four different countries and the Champions League on three occasions.
Kelly says being appointed to Ancelotti’s backroom team is one of the greatest honours of his 35-year professional career.
And the Irishman outlined the personal and professional qualities that have crystallised his view Everton boast a truly world-class manager.
“Carlo is wonderful to work with, as are the staff around him,” Kelly told evertonfc.com.
“They are all very engaging and approachable. It’s been a great experience.
“Before Carlo came in, I’d read his book and I was telling people, ‘You’ve got to read this book, it’s absolutely fantastic’.
“There’s so much wisdom in it. You try to take little snippets and think, ‘How can I build this into my daily life?’
“Never mind as a coach, but as a person as well.
📘 l Over the coming weeks, #EFC will be serialising @MrAncelotti's acclaimed book 'Quiet Leadership: Winning hearts, minds and matches.'— Everton (@Everton) April 24, 2020
In this opening excerpt, Carlo explains why a family culture is key to success. 💙
Read in full 👇
“Then he appears on the doorstep and you’ve been invited to join the management team, which is a huge honour for me.
“To see the words become actions and view the way scenarios have been dealt with - the way he conveys things to the players, his relationships with the staff - everything you read about the man is true in life as well.
“I’ve looked at situations that have arisen at Everton and thought, ‘That situation happened in that chapter of the book’.
“To watch somebody of that calibre at close quarters making decisions, it’s such an education."
Kelly has worked with an elite Italian manager before, having been part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s backroom staff with the Republic of Ireland national team. He was goalkeeping coach during Trapattoni’s five-year tenure – a period which saw Ireland qualify for the 2012 European Championships.
Like Ancelotti, Trapattoni has managed several leading European clubs, with both men having taken the reins at illustrious trio AC Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich.
“That significant amount of time of working with a manager like Giovanni was fantastic for me,” said Kelly.
“As a coach, you can’t buy that type of exposure to working with someone of his calibre.
“I think it helped [in my role at Everton]… It gave me a slight introduction, as Carlo asked me about working with him.
“I knew all the Italian swear words, too, so I had a head’s up on that!”
🤔 l Part two: Decision making— Everton (@Everton) May 1, 2020
📘 In the latest excerpt of 'Quiet Leadership: Winning hearts, minds and matches', Carlo talks about making significant decisions and the intense pressure that comes with it.
Read in full 👇@MrAncelotti 🔵 #EFC
Kelly was initially appointed to Everton’s First Team coaching staff during Duncan Ferguson’s spell as caretaker manager in December 2019. He had previously been part of the Blues’ Under-23s set-up.
Kelly described his emotions upon being asked to make his First Team role permanent.
“When someone like Carlo Ancelotti asks you to join the team, there’s only ever going to be one answer,” Kelly said.
"He's a legendary manager.
“[Director of Football] Marcel Brands had a word with me first and then I got the nod from Carlo.
“The day Carlo said he’d like me to be part of his staff was a proud moment.
“When someone validates what you do, it’s a wonderful feeling.
“And when a team is led the way Carlo does it, it’s an honour and a pleasure to be in that environment. “
👥 l Part three: The team behind the team.— Everton (@Everton) May 10, 2020
📘 In the latest excerpt of 'Quiet Leadership: Winning Hearts, Minds and Matches', @MrAncelotti details why backroom loyalty is 'paramount' and the importance of tapping into established staff members' knowledge when joining a new club.