Roy Keane looking forward to 'exciting challenge' as Aston Villa confirm Corkman as assistant manager

The 42-year-old will continue as Martin O’Neill’s right-hand man in the Ireland set-up.

Keane will continue with Ireland despite signing on with Villa.
Keane will continue with Ireland despite signing on with Villa.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

ROY KEANE HAS today been appointed assistant manager at Aston Villa after the Premier League club reached a job share agreement with the FAI.

The former Manchester United midfielder will combine his day-to-day duties in Birmingham with his current role as Martin O’Neill’s right-hand man in the Ireland set-up.

Keane will work under manager Paul Lambert at Villa, replacing previous assistant Ian Culverhouse, who was sacked in May following a club investigation into unspecified off-the-field issues.

Aston Villa tweeted the confirmation this afternoon, with Lambert welcoming the Corkman as ‘a big help’ and Keane looking ahead to combining the two roles:

“I remain totally committed to my job with the Republic of Ireland and all that it involves,” says Keane in a statement released by the FAI today.

“This agreement promises to be an exciting challenge and will give me an opportunity to continue developing my coaching skills on a daily basis that should ultimately benefit everyone.”

O’Neill was also enthusiastic about the move:

“This is a good arrangement for us that allows Roy to remain in position as my assistant nanager,” says the Derry native.

“Since he started in November, Roy has been excellent with the players and I have no doubt that he will bring all of the positive attributes he has shown here to the role he takes on at Aston Villa.”

Meanwhile, Paul Lambert, who has been under pressure as manager of the Birmingham-based club welcomed the appointment.

“Roy has a great knowledge of football. He’ll be a great asset and a big help to everyone here at Villa.”

“I’m really looking forward to working with Roy and I’m delighted that he’s here.”Roy has brought that experience into coaching and management. The players will love working with him.”

67-times capped ex-Ireland international Keane is expected to be present at the club’s Bodymoor Heath training ground for the start of 2014/15 pre-season schedule on Monday.

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Recent months saw Keane linked with taking over the manager’s role at Celtic, where he spent the 2005/06 season as a player, but that position eventually went to Norwegian candidate Ronny Deila.

The Cork native’s non-playing CV includes spells in charge of Ipswich and Sunderland, guiding the latter to promotion into the Premiership in 2007 before resigning from the club in 2008.

It is believed this job share agreement between the FAI and Villa will spare the English side a degree of the financial outlay usually dedicated to an assistant manager, a welcome feature given that owner Randy Lerner is currently keen to cut back on costs.

This piece was originally published at 11.02 and then updated at 13.40.

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