Kelly landed his first position as the head of a senior team when Latics handed him a two-year contract at the end of their 18th straight season in League One.
Having previously spent the majority of his playing career in his home country or with lower league and non-league clubs, Kelly bided his time before attempting to move into management.
The 35-year-old spent time coaching youth teams at York and Sunderland and hopes he can emulate the success of Rodgers, who spent time with Watford, Reading and Swansea before moving to Merseyside.
“Brendan Rodgers is the one; he’s been through the same process,” Kelly said.
“He’s a fellow Northern Irishman and he’s set the routine for everybody to follow. He’s done it from the bottom and now he’s managing Liverpool – one of the biggest clubs in the world.
“That’s the thing, you’ve got to aspire in life to do something and I aspire to do the best I can and achieve the very best I can.”
Kelly insists his post-playing career has been meticulously planned and he believes the fact he has obtained his coaching qualifications and learned the tricks of the trade prepare him for life at SportsDirect.com Park.
“I’ve specifically chosen the path that I have deliberately,” he added.
“It’s a very important path for me in terms of when I stopped playing I didn’t just want to jump into management. I thought it was important to start at the bottom and work your way up.
“That’s the road I’ve chosen deliberately. The opportunity came up here so the process is from the bottom right the way up and now I’ve reached an absolutely amazing destination in terms of my coaching career.”