Belfast Telegraph

Robbie Keane doesn't want to wave goodbye to Republic of Ireland forever

World Cup qualifiers

By Daniel McDonnell

Robbie Keane does not believe that his service to Irish football is over but the retiring captain says he will take his time before deciding on his future plans.

Keane will say goodbye to Republic of Ireland supporters after tomorrow night's friendly with Oman at the Aviva Stadium and intends to continue his club career with LA Galaxy for another couple of seasons.

However, the Dubliner has admitted that he is attracted by a return to the Irish fold at some stage with management and coaching a part of his long-term ambitions.

The 35-year-old had previously called on the FAI to do more to involve former internationals with a view to helping their ambitions in the dug-out.

"Of course, yes, there's no question," said Keane, when asked if he wanted to come back in a different capacity.

"But just because I did my coaching badges does not mean that I am going to be a great manager, a successful manager or good coach. I don't know as I don't know what the future holds for me.

"But I would certainly like to be in the game and be associated with the Irish in the future. But not at the moment."

Keane is happy by the appointment of old team-mates to positions in the coaching set-up. He believes they are needed in a challenging environment where it's difficult for young Irish kids in England.

"We have done that now," he said. "Duffer (Damien Duff) is involved, Keith Andrews, Stephen McPhail, Kenny Cunningham, Mark Kinsella.

"I think that is only going to help the national team in the future by having the presence of these people.

"Imagine a 15-year-old kid coming in and seeing Damien Duff there. They want to impress him and do well for him."

Keane wants to improve on his haul of 67 Irish goals in the Oman match. One more will move him level with German great Gerd Muller in the all-time list.

"As soon as the first whistle goes, I'll be thinking about a goal," he added.



From Belfast Telegraph