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'Cheeky Bollocks' Robbie Keane Suggested Himself As McCarthy Assistant

'Cheeky Bollocks' Robbie Keane Suggested Himself As McCarthy Assistant
By PJ Browne Updated

Mick McCarthy was unveiled as the new Ireland manager at an Aviva Stadium press conference on Sunday afternoon. It was also confirmed that Terry 'TC' Connor and Robbie Keane will be his assistants.

Connor has been McCarthy's right-hand man since Ian Evans left his side in 2006.

"Robbie is a different one," said McCarthy.

He once asked me if I would consider him helping out in some way, a coaching role, management role, just to be part and work with me. I gave it some thought, and I have to say - I’m coming up 60, and TC is 56 - I kind of like the idea of a young coach, an assistant who’s got bright ideas. He’s the most capped, top goal scorer.

I think he will have a real affinity with the younger players. All these guys coming through, he’s their hero. I think that’s a real benefit for me.

And he’ll be driving up and down the country looking at players and having his backside in the car, getting sick of watching teams and reporting to me and TC.

To laughter at the press conference, McCarthy explained that Keane had put himself forward as a backroom team candidate.

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"It was suggested to me, by Robbie. At first I thought, you cheeky bollocks, to be quite honest. He is cheeky, he played cheeky. He was impudent.

"There’s more to him, he’s serious about his football. He’s got his head screwed on in terms of wanting to be a coach, a manager in his own right. If we’re talking about succession, and whatever happens to me in two years time, he needs to be part of that succession because he’s got a lot to offer."

Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

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See Also: Mick McCarthy Had 'Good Conversation' With Declan Rice's Father


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