Tuesday 20 August 2019

'I am thrilled for Robbie as he takes the next step in his path to becoming a top manager' - Mick McCarthy on Keane job

Former Ireland assistant coach Robbie Keane
Former Ireland assistant coach Robbie Keane

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Robbie Keane says he only took up the offer of working with Championship side Middlesbrough if he was also able to continue his role with the Republic of Ireland squad.

And Ireland boss Mick McCarthy has given his blessing to Keane's move to Boro and says he's "thrilled" for the Dubliner as he joins Jonathan Woodgate's coaching staff.

The Championship club confirmed today that Keane would take up the offer of working with new manager Woodgate as his assistant, though the FAI confirmed that Keane would retain his coaching role with McCarthy's senior Ireland squad.

"I am thrilled for Robbie as he takes the next step in his path to becoming a top manager," McCarthy said.

"He told me about it the minute he was offered the job and I told him that it was only a runner if he continued with Ireland.

"We are building for the future with this Ireland team and Robbie is a key part of that. He has made a big impression on the players and the staff already as my assistant coach and this new role will only improve him which works for Middlesbrough and, most importantly, for Ireland."

In a statement issued by the FAI, Keane said that keeping his FAI post was a deal-breaker.

"This is a great opportunity for me on my pathway to a manager's job in the future and I am very excited about it," Keane said.

"I am also grateful to the FAI and to Mick McCarthy for allowing me to take this role and to continue with Ireland. I made it very clear to everyone at Middlesbrough that I would not be coming here if I had to give up my Ireland role and they are happy to agree. Ireland means everything to me as it always has done and I look forward now to helping the team in our bid to make the Euro finals and those games in Dublin."

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