On this week's edition of the Football Show from Balls.ie, we caught up with former Irish international and current Sporting Director at Shamrock Rovers, Stephen McPhail.
McPhail covered aspects of his entire career, including his outstanding memories from his time at Leeds among them saying a prayer in the Nou Camp chapel with Gary Kelly before a 4-0 shellacking in the Champion League. You can listen to the interview in full below, or by subscribing to the podcast on iTunes, Stitcher, or your regular podcasting app.
During the course of the conversation, McPhail addressed one of the main rumours surrounding Rovers since he took over as Sporting Director last November: the signing of Robbie Keane. Ireland's all-time leading scorer has been without a club since leaving LA Galaxy, but has not shown a desire to retire from the game entirely.
Images of Keane training with Al-Ahli did not end with his signing a contract in the Middle East, and the link with a move to his local club have persisted. Rovers were the favourites to sign Keane after he left LA Galaxy, although these hopes seemed to fade as Keane intimated on Soccer AM in January that he would be joining a "UK club".
That hasn't happened (a proposed move to Preston fell through owing to Keane's wage demands), and Keane has since been training with Rovers.
Both Keane and McPhail played together at senior international level, and were both on the Under-18 squad that won the 1998 Championship. So, could Keane yet line-out for Rovers?
Robbie has been training with us for the last two or three weeks. There's never been a conversation between me and Robbie about playing for Rovers. I'm sure if Robbie wants to play for Rovers, he knows he's got a good chance of playing!
But I'm sure there are other options he is looking to explore and he'll make the best decision for him. Look, we'd love to have him, but I'm not going to push him on that, it's his own decision.
You can listen to the full interview on the podcast.
Stephen McPhail was speaking at the announcement of the Sporting Talent & Academic Rewards project at Trinity College, run in conjunction with TAP (Trinity Access Programmes), Shamrock Rovers and Trinity Sport. The project is aimed at providing students from Tallaght and the inner city with an outreach programme that supports both their educational and sporting development.