One would think there wouldn’t be much to hear at a football ground these days.
Granted, there are a few things missing from the usual hum of activity on a matchday. The clunk of a turnstile grinding in motion, a growling din of chat among fans, even the rustling of sweetie wrappers from that annoying bloke in the seat behind you. Yes Mr Haribo who never shares in the East Stand, I’m looking at you.
But if you were at Fir Park last month for Motherwell’s triumph over Livingston, you’d struggle to hear yourself think. In fact, those in the Tim Hortons donut queue were probably wondering what the cacophony was.
Step forward Well goalkeeper Liam Kelly.
Throughout the match, the on-loan Queens Park Rangers man barked, shouted, screeched and cajoled for an entire 90 minutes during an extraordinary display of communication rivalled only by the person charged with taking the order for those donuts up the street on a bank holiday.
“It’s not a frustration thing,” laughed the keeper. “If people listen to me they’ll hear I’m just giving clear, simple instructions so I’ve got as little to do as possible.
“I can see everything and I just want the ball to stay away from me, us to keep it and for us to try and score goals. If I can get us organised from the back then I’m confident enough to do that.
“I listen to what the manager wants. I try and be that eye on the pitch to attempt to implement what he wants. I think I try make everyone’s life easier, including mine, and if it makes a difference at least one minute then it’ll be worth it.
“I enjoy it.”
To be fair, nobody told him to be quiet.
And why would they? Since arriving on loan earlier this year, the former Livingston man has performed heroics between the sticks for the Steelmen, keeping them in many a game as Graham Alexander gets used to his charges.
It says a lot for the 25-year-old that he has not looked out of place taking up a role previously occupied by the now-departed Mark Gillespie or the injured Trevor Carson.
While his future beyond the summer remains unclear – Kelly has another two years to run at the London club – he admits the lure of first-team football, and the enjoyment of pulling on a Motherwell shirt, is a key factor.
“Ultimately what happens is going to be on QPR’s terms. The goalie there is flying and doing really well, and I want to play football. That’s as simple as I can say it.
“If the opportunity to play wasn’t happening at QPR but there was one somewhere else, then absolutely I’d do that. I’ve loved my time at Motherwell so if that was an option it’s something I’d strongly consider.
“We’re only in April, so much can happen between now and the new season, so I’m just focusing on Saturday first. Talks that need to happen will happen.”
Turning that attention to today, Kelly is in no danger of looking down as St Mirren come into view.
The Steelmen are seven points above 11th-placed Kilmarnock and eight superior to Hamilton, with many Well fans feels a win on Saturday would secure safety. Indeed, it could mean Motherwell are 11 points clear of Accies with just 12 left to play for.
However, the Well keeper is instead focused on reeling in those above them, including St Mirren, to claim seventh spot.
“We’re going for seventh if I’m being honest,” he said.
“I’m not sure what the points say, but while it’s still achievable then that’s what we’re shooting for.
“That starts on Saturday against St Mirren. I think we’ve played them twice since I came in, both at their place and both finished in draws. It’s obviously a game we’ll be looking to win.
“The results would suggest there’s not a lot between us. It could go either way. I’m sure they’re confident, but so are we.
“It’s a difficult game but we want seventh. We’re not thinking of anything different. We know though if we’re not at it then it could be a long afternoon.”
The following week it’s Morton who come to Fir Park with a place in the Scottish Cup quarter-finals at stake.
With a 5-0 win over Formartine already in the bag, Kelly understands those who may be dreaming Motherwell’s 30-year wait for glory could be this year, but he remains pragmatic.
“Formartine made it that far for a reason,” said Kelly. “They beat Annan and we knew if we didn’t approach it right then it was a potential banana skin. All the boys had the right frame of mind, had their heads switched on and made sure I had a quiet day at the office.
“Every team left will be doing the same. There are 16 teams left and you have the Old Firm playing each other, so that takes out one of the favourites.
“You’re not daft, you see those things. It’s a good opportunity. We’re really looking forward to playing Morton next Saturday. The cup is something we want to go far in, but we know if we don’t take it a game at a time then we’ll be out.”
And what of hopes of a Scotland call up once more?
“It’s in your mind, of course it is, but ultimately it’s not something you can control,” said Kelly, who has been involved before but has yet to be capped by his country.
“What I will say is the talent of goalkeepers in Scotland is so good. It’s not as if I should be entitled to get in, the goalkeepers who are in there are unbelievable.
“I’ve got no complaints. If my time and the manager thought I should be in it then fantastic, but my priority is performing for Motherwell on a Saturday.”