From Italian clubs to rugby, Keith Andrews has been expanding his coaching horizons

Ex-Ireland midfielder is about to embark on his Pro Licence course

Ireland, Keith Andrews,

Former Ireland international Keith Andrews at Ireland training at Carton House ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan

Last Monday, the FAI revealed some of the names who will be embarking on the 2016/18 Pro Licence course. 

Ex-Ireland midfielder Keith Andrews is among those who will be taking the final step on the coaching qualification ladder for the highest level of the game.

But he has been expanding his horizons in terms of where he is getting his insights.

On Tuesday, he spent time with the Irish rugby team and took in training and behind the scenes work in the build-up to Saturday's game against Australia.

"I was lucky to go in and get full access behind the scenes," he said on Off The Ball, adding that it was "amazing" as an experience.

"Mick Kearney sorted it out for me through Keith Wood. I was very lucky to get in and they were very welcoming and it was intriguing. It really was. I'm trying to look a little bit outside the box and obviously I'm a big rugby fan as well." 

It's not the only non-footballing team he has taken a first-hand look at, including British Cycling.

"I spent a day in preparation for one of the races," he said.

But he has also had the chance to see some European football clubs at first hand.

"[I've been at] quite a few clubs around Europe, a couple in Italy and PSV," he said.

"I was in with Napoli earlier in the season. A friend of mine who is a big Italian agent, he looked after me on that one. So not many of them spoke English and I don't speak Italian. So there wasn't much conversation going on but I wanted to look at the defensive side of it to see what they do a little bit differently. Certainly, Napoli were sort of a zonal marking team system in general play. I don't particularly agree with it but it was still good to see that." 

He also revealed that he had been occasionally disappointed by some of the coaching he received at points in his football development.