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Dublin: 7°C Friday 4 December 2020

Declaring for Ireland 'the best decision I've ever made' says Keogh

The Derby County captain says that the decision was a ‘no-brainer’.

Keogh was speaking at training this morning.
Keogh was speaking at training this morning.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

RICHARD KEOGH HAS described his decision to play international football for Ireland as the best he’s ever made and says that it was “a no-brainer”.

The Derby County captain was speaking in Malahide this morning ahead of Ireland’s clash with Scotland on Friday.

When asked about this week’s controversy over players playing for countries different to that of their birth the 28-year-old was emphatic in his reply.

“For me it was a no brainer. My dad was born in Carlow and moved over to England when he was a bit older. My granny and grandad lived there for their whole lives.

“I played for the 19s and the 21s so for me it was a natural progression to the seniors. It was a very proud moment when I got the call from Seán McCaffrey to play for Ireland, it was the best decision I’ve ever made.”

The centre back is looking likely to start Friday’s match due to the absence of Marc Wilson. Yet to make a competitive appearance for Ireland, Keogh is adamant that he is ready to come in to such a big game.

“It’s been a blow to lose Willo but if the manager calls on me I’ll be ready.

“What a great game to come into, there’s no better, that’s why you’re in football. You want to play in big games and big atmospheres and it gets no bigger than Friday.”

Ireland go into the game three points ahead of the Scots but Keogh will settle for no less than a win at Park Head.

“No [we wouldn't be thinking of a draw], we go on the pitch to win every game. We’ve had that winning mentality instilled in us by the manager and the coaching staff.”

Additional reporting by Niall Kelly.

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