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Tuesday 17 October 2017

Hogan's hero: It's "interesting" to work with idol Roy Keane, says striker Scott

Aston Villa's Scott Hogan was star-struck when he met boyhood hero Roy Keane
Aston Villa's Scott Hogan was star-struck when he met boyhood hero Roy Keane

Scott Hogan has admitted he was star-struck when he bumped into boyhood hero Roy Keane as he headed off to meet up with the Republic of Ireland squad.

The Salford-born Aston Villa striker is a self-confessed Manchester United supporter and grew up watching Keane at his peak with Sir Alex Ferguson's all-conquering side.

However, Hogan was lost for words when he met Ireland's assistant manager as he boarded the plane to join up with the Republic squad for the first time since receiving his Irish passport, for which he qualifies through his father.

Hogan, 25, said: "Don't get me wrong, I was a bit nervous meeting him. I met him getting on to the plane, actually, and it is a bit of a shock.

"But at the end of the day, he is here to help, so you have got to get over that. I was a bit star-struck, to be honest with you, but you get over it. Well, sort of, you do.

"It's quite interesting to say Roy Keane is teaching you how to play football."

Hogan's first call-up was some time in the making with the player having delayed his availability in a bid to ensure he is fully fit after a series of injuries which have hampered him in recent seasons.

However, he has revealed it would have been difficult to say no if Keane had asked him, a fact manager Martin O'Neill learned just a few weeks ago.

Hogan said: "I remember saying to my family, 'If Roy Keane rang, I don't think I'd know what to say, I don't think I'd be able to say no regardless of what state I was in'.

"When I met up with the manager a few weeks back and I said that to him, he said, 'If I'd have known that, I'd have told him to ring you straight away'.

"For me - for anyone, really - just to work with him, in terms of Irish players who have gone over to England and won things, he's got to be right up there for what he has done in football and Manchester United.

"I don't hide the fact I'm a big Manchester United fan. I grew up when United won everything, so I was lucky.

"I was born 10 minutes from the ground, so for me, it was Roy Keane. My dad was Roy Keane, Denis Irwin, but I was without a shadow of doubt Roy Keane.

"Obviously Eric Cantona was the king, as they called him. I was a bit young, but I watched the videos of people like him. But I actually grew up watching Roy Keane.

"I remember watching when they beat Juventus in Turin and he was banned for the [1999 Champions League] final, and it was just... My dad was telling me how incredible it was.

"You won't see many things like that happen on a pitch, so it was definitely, without a shadow of a doubt, Roy Keane."

Press Association

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