Saturday 17 March 2018

Keith Andrews poised to join Bolton

IRELAND midfielder Keith Andrews is set to reject a move to Celtic in favour of signing for Bolton Wanderers.

The 31-year-old is a free agent after a short-term six-month stay with West Brom. His hopes of staying at the Hawthorns permanently were dashed after Roy Hodgson moved to take the reins with England.

Celtic made a play for his services before Euro 2012, and newly promoted Championship club Huddersfield were also interested. However, Bolton have come forward with an attractive financial package and the advantage of being based in the north west of England, where the Dubliner lives.

Despite their relegation from the Premier League, Bolton are in a position to offer good wages, and Owen Coyle is expected to build a side that will bounce back.

Keane won't quit Ireland, insists Byrne

JASON BYRNE has backed his cousin Robbie Keane to bounce back from his Euro 2012 disappointment and lead Ireland once again, writes Ruaidhri O'Connor.

The international captain has come in for heavy criticism after failing to make an impact in Poland.

The LA Galaxy striker's conditioning has been called into question, as has his ability to continue at international level.

But Bray Wanderers star Byrne believes the country's record goalscorer will return to make an impact in the World Cup 2014 qualifiers.

"I think he was harshly criticised and I'm not just saying that because he is family," Byrne said. "I don't think it has even come into his reckoning that he is going to retire. He still has a lot to give.

"He has been one of Ireland's best ever players. I think you'll see him in a green shirt for another few years.

"I know him and he's not going to let people get to him like that, because he's strong-minded."

Byrne collected the Airtricity/ Soccer Writers Association of Ireland Player of the Month award for May yesterday for his goalscoring exploits with Bray.

Having risen to second on the all time scorers list in the League of Ireland, his next target is to reach 200 goals.

Kenny blow as QPR land Green

QPR have signed England goalkeeper Robert Green on a two-year deal.

Green, who has 12 caps, will arrive at Loftus Road on July 1 when his contract with West Ham expires.

Green is part of the England squad competing at Euro 2012 and joins QPR after spending six years at West Ham to battle with former Ireland international Paddy Kenny for the No 1 shirt at Loftus Road.

The signing is bad news for Kenny and for former Bohemians 'keeper Brian Murphy, who still has a year left to run on his QPR deal.

Irish Independent

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