Robbie Keane takes first coaching role in English football at Middlesbrough

The former Ireland striker becomes Jonathan Woodgate’s assistant manager at the Riverside.

ROBBIE KEANE HAS accepted an offer to become assistant manager at Middlesbrough after the Championship club this morning confirmed the appointment of Jonathan Woodgate as their new boss.

Keane had met with ‘Boro chairman Steve Gibson earlier this week to discuss the possibility of working under his former team-mate Woodgate at the Riverside, and he will now move into his first coaching role in English football ahead of the 2019/20 campaign.

Robbie Keane Keane will remain on as Republic of Ireland coach. Ryan Byrne / INPHO Ryan Byrne / INPHO / INPHO

The former Ireland striker will remain on in his role as Mick McCarthy’s assistant coach as the Boys in Green bid to qualify for next summer’s European Championships.

Keane had made it clear to ‘Boro that the one condition of taking on the number two role at the Championship outfit was that he would be able to stay on with the senior national team.

Woodgate, who Keane played with at Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur, has been appointed as head coach on a three-year deal following the departure of Tony Pulis last month.

The former England defender had been on Pulis’ coaching staff and emerged as the frontrunner to succeed the Welsh boss, who left the role after ‘Boro narrowly missed out on a place in the play-offs last season.

Joining Keane on Woodgate’s staff are Leo Percovich, who was previously on the ‘Boro backroom from 2013-2017, and former Welsh international Danny Coyne as goalkeeping coach.

Middlesbrough v Sunderland - Premier League - Riverside Stadium Woodgate takes over at 'Boro. Mike Egerton Mike Egerton

After retiring in 2018, 38-year-old Keane has transitioned into coaching under McCarthy and this job sees him take the next step on the career leader, which he ultimately hopes will lead to him taking on a managerial role in the future. 

“There was huge interest in the coaching positions following the departure of Tony Pulis and in a robust process the club spoke with a number of potential candidates both in the UK and abroad,” a club statement read.

“It was during this procedure that it became clear that Jonathan was the outstanding candidate to head up the new structure, and his staff bring a wealth of experience and knowledge.

“Jonathan’s vision is very much aligned to our own for the club as we look to develop a new identity.”

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