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Robbie Keane to take first step into management with Indian side ATK

The Republic of Ireland record goalscorer will take on the role of player/manager for the final game of the season.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

ROBBIE KEANE IS set to take his first step into management this weekend, as he prepares to take on the role of player/manager with Indian Super League side Atletico de Kolkata (ATK) for their final game of the season.

The Republic of Ireland record goalscorer has been playing with the side this season since joining them last November, and was previously reported to be in line for the position.

The club sacked former Tottenham and Manchester United striker Teddy Sheringham earlier this year after several disappointing results, and replaced him with director of football Ashley Westwood on an interim basis.

Westwood however, can only manage the club for three matches as he does not meet the criteria of a ‘marquee coach,’ according to Indian Super League (ISL) rules. His departure from the role paves the way for Keane to dip his toes into management.

Keane, who has completed his UEFA A and B Licence with the FAI’s Coach Education programme, will be assisted by former Bolton and Finland goalkeeper Jussi Jaaskelainen for the game against NorthEast United in Kolkata on Sunday.

Speaking ahead of the tie, the 37-year-old is quoted by the FAI website as saying:

“I’ve been given responsibility for the team ahead of the game. We’ve prepared these last few days to the best of our ability and we’re looking forward to the game.  The training sessions have been enjoyable, everything is ready and I’m excited for the challenge.”

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Keane has scored five times in his last six starts for ATK.

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