Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

21.30 9 Apr 2020


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Newly appointed Republic of Ireland manager Stephen Kenny insists he has the "utmost respect" for Robbie Keane but can't wait to get to work with his own backroom team.

Keane wasn't included in Kenny's coaching ticket when the former U21 boss succeeded Mick McCarthy last weekend.

And despite having two years remaining on his contract, the country's leading scorer appears destined to give up his Abbotstown parking space.

Kenny says the speedy nature of his transition from U21 to senior boss didn't facilitate discussing a role directly with Keane, "I would have preferred to have a conversation with him but the circumstances weren't right to do that."

Kenny says contractual complexities preclude him from divulging more about the Keane situation, but added "He's had a great - an incredible - playing career.

"He's an assistant manager at Middlesbrough , it's a great club, and I'm sure he has a good future in coaching as an assistant manager and eventually a manager."

Duff

While Andrews' promotion in tandem with Kenny came as no surprise, Duff's appointment in place of Keane caught some off-guard.

But Kenny's been impressed with the former Chelsea winger's work ethic as he worked his way up the coaching ladder, "He started at the bottom going in at U15s with Shamrock Rovers, and then the U15 international team as well.

"He worked very very hard for a long time.

"He obviously did his pro licence this year with the FAI. Niall O'Regan - the head of coach education - asked me at times to come in and observe.

"Damien was selected by the group when the group went to Switzerland to put on a session with all of the other people that were doing pro licences in Europe.

"He was the one selected from the Irish group to put on that session for everyone, and it was terrific, it was brilliant."

Celtic

Kenny feels Duff and Andrews are both more than equipped to deal with the evolving coaching world, "They're two modern-thinking coaches who have both worked in club football and in the international set-up.

"That year at Celtic will be of huge benefit to him [Damien] - they've had good results in Europe this year and he's had to adapt tactically to all of those games so I feel he'll be a really good addition..

"I think he was very hard-working, he threw himself in at the deep end going back to U15 football.

"From where he came from as a player you have to admire that as well, and he did a very good job at Shamrock Rovers.

"They got a great academy there at Shamrock Rovers and Damien's a part of that."


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Damien Duff FAI Keith Andrews Mick McCarthy Republic Of Ireland Robbie Keane Stephen Kenny Terry Connor

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