Ever since Robbie Keane was a young boy growing up in Tallaght, it's always been his dream to be assistant manager of Middlebrough.
Today, that dream has come through. Keane's former teammate at Spurs and Leeds teammate Jonathan Woodgate has been appointed as manager of his hometown club on a three year deal, and as expected, has brought Robbie on board as his assistant.
A club statement confirmed the news this morning.
Middlesbrough Football Club are delighted to confirm that Jonathan Woodgate will head up a new-look senior coaching team.
Jonathan has been appointed as the club’s new head coach and has agreed a three-year contract.
“Our former captain will be joined by his ex-Leeds and Tottenham team-mate, and current Republic of Ireland assistant manager Robbie Keane, Leo Percovich, who was previously on the coaching staff at the club from 2013-2017, and one-time Boro man Danny Coyne, as goalkeeping coach.
Earlier this week, Keane, who will be accepting his first full time role in club coaching for the Championship team, confirmed he had been approached, but didn't want the job to affect his standing as Ireland coach under Mick McCarthy.
He told RTE Sport,
I wouldn’t have taken the job if Mick or the FAI said ‘we don’t want you do it, we want you to stay here and you can only do this’ – I wouldn’t have taken the job.
It’s attracting me now because they’re very open to me going there. And listen, most of our players are in the Championship so you’re going to be seeing them every week anyway.
It's not unusual for a member of the international backroom team to take a job in coaching at an English club.
Chris Hughton was assistant to Brian Kerr during his time in charge of Ireland, while also working under Martin Jol and others at Tottenham. Roy Keane was also briefly under Paul Lambert at Aston Villa during the Martin O'Neill era, though that didn't go too well or last too long.
Roy and Robbie Keane will come up against each other this season when Middlesbrough meet Nottingham Forest, where Roy is once again assistant to Marin O'Neill.
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