Dunphy and Keane chat in front of an audience. Paddy Power
Robbie v Eamo

Keane doesn't want to be 'one of these players who becomes fat, drinking and playing golf all the time'

The Republic of Ireland’s new coach believes he still has a lot to offer in the game.

AFTER A BRIEF spell away, Robbie Keane is involved with Ireland’s senior set-up once again. 

The country’s greatest-ever striker, who holds the record for most international goals and caps, recommended himself to new manager Mick McCarthy and comes on board the coaching staff along with assistant Terry Connor. 

As part of Paddy Power’s Head2Head TV series, the Tallaght native has sat down with Eamon Dunphy to take part in a wide-ranging interview. 

During it, Keane talks through the high and low points of his career, before discussing his ambition to be a manager at the top level. 

“I’ve been doing my coaching badges and, of course, that’s the avenue that I want to go down,” the 38-year-old says. “I don’t want to be one of these players who becomes fat, drinking and playing golf all the time while thinking my life is fine.

“I want to do stuff with my life. I always want to be active — going training and being buzzy. I’m even more enthusiastic now than I was when I was young because I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

When it was put to him by Dunphy that life as a manager can be tough and often short-lived, he replied: 

Yeah, but you have to go into it with open eyes. I don’t have any fear.”

Two contemporaries of Keane, Steven Gerrard and Frank Lampard, have both recently turned their backs on punditry to test themselves in management, and Keane is looking forward to doing the same. 

“I do a bit of TV work and I don’t mind it, it keeps you in the game a little bit,” he adds, “but I want to go down the other route and that’s coaching.

“It goes to show you, it doesn’t matter how successful you are as a player. You look at Lampard, people outside football probably think ‘He’ll walk into the Chelsea job tomorrow’, but it doesn’t work like that.

“You have to earn it, and I’m certainly willing to do that. I did that as a player.”

The original mischief maker Eamon Dunphy fronts the second episode in ‘Paddy Power’s Head2 Head’, a brand new five-part television series available free-to-view on eir Sport 1 tonight at 10.30pm

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