Wednesday 26 July 2017

'My next move will be abroad' - Robbie Keane rules out League of Ireland switch

26 April 2017; Aer Lingus ambassador, Robbie Keane was at Dublin Airport today to launch Aer Lingus big North American sale. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile
26 April 2017; Aer Lingus ambassador, Robbie Keane was at Dublin Airport today to launch Aer Lingus big North American sale. Photo by David Maher/Sportsfile

Jack O'Toole

Former Ireland captain Robbie Keane has ruled out a move to the League of Ireland insisting that the next move in his career will be abroad, after his contract with the LA Galaxy expired in November of last year.

Keane has been without a club since leaving the MLS side although he has been training with both Shamrock Rovers and Dubai's Al Ahli over the last few months.

The former Spurs striker insists that both stints have been strictly aimed at maintaining his fitness, and while he would consider a move to the League of Ireland in the future, his next move will again be overseas.

"It will be definitely abroad," Keane said at the Aer Lingus offices in Dublin on Wednesday.

"I've got one more adventure left in me. Whether it's a year, a couple of more years, and then look to get settled back home in Ireland.

"I've had offers and I've mentioned this before, but they just weren't the right ones for me. A lot of the leagues were nearly over so it would be a bit pointless for me just to go in for the sake of it. At least now I've had more opportunities where I feel 100% rather than just diving into something where you'd probably regret it."

Although he was quite coy on the details of those offers, Keane did reveal that some involved an option to coach after he finished playing. The 36-year-old received his UEFA A Licence in January of last year and claimed that he had received offers to play and then coach, but that again, they weren't suitable at this stage of his career.

"Possibly, I have had options in that but it just wasn't right at the moment," added Keane on offers that included an option coach. "But I have definitely had offers like that."

Asked whether any of those offers were on Irish shores and in the League Of Ireland, Keane refused to elaborate, but he did say that he wouldn't rule out a move to the League of Ireland in the future, admitting that he's been impressed by what he's seen at Shamrock Rovers during his brief time there.

"I think if you forget about the results and forget about where they are, they're definitely as a club going forward, there's no question about that," said Keane.

"They have a great young manager in Bradser [Stephen Bradley] who wants to do the right things. It's a transition period for them after last year getting rid of a lot of players. They've brought in a lot of younger players in and when you're sitting from afar, whether you're a journalist or a fan, you always want people to give young players opportunities, you want to give young managers opportunities and that's exactly what they're doing.

"They won't win the league this season of course with Cork, and whether they're going to win it or not I'm not sure, but they're so far ahead that they should be looking for more next year and I see what they're doing as a group of players and staff, and there's no question looking at it from the inside that they're going in the right direction.

"Who is say that in a couple of years that I come back to Ireland - I will definitely come back in a couple of years and settle back here - never say never.

"But there is one more adventure left in me abroad."

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