Robbie Keane sets sights on management

10 June 2013 10:47

Robbie Keane has his sights set on a career in management - but not just yet.

The 32-year-old striker will lead the Republic of Ireland into friendly battle with Spain in New York during the early hours of Wednesday morning, having revealed last week that he intends to play on for another five or six years. Keane recently signed a two-year contract extension with LA Galaxy and revealed there is an option on a further 12 months.

However, he will start his coaching qualifications later this year and admits his love affair with football is unlikely to end when he hangs up his boots. He said: "It's the only thing I know, so when I stop playing football, what else am I going to do? This is all I know."

He added: "I wake up every morning and look forward to going training. I could never imagine the day that's going to end, so it's certainly something I am going to look into.

"I am doing my coaching badges in December - but I am going to try to play as long as I can first. I have just signed a two-year contract, possibly three years, so at this moment in time, I'm not thinking too far ahead."

Keane has adopted a noticeably more analytical air in his recent interviews, and while he believes that is a natural process for an experienced football, five years working under Republic boss Giovanni Trapattoni and assistant Marco Tardelli have also played their part.

He said: "When you get older, you tend to do that. When you are younger, you have got no worries, you just think it's never, ever going to end.

"As you get older, you understand the game a lot more and you watch the mangers closely, Marco with the manager, and see their different ideas. I have been lucky enough to play for one of the great managers, so hopefully that will stand me in good stead."

Derby midfielder Jeff Hendrick will make his first Ireland start at the Yankee Stadium. The 21-year-old will line up alongside James McCarthy in a youthful partnership in a team featuring seven changes from the one which started against the Faroe Islands in Dublin last Friday evening.

Ireland team: David Forde; Paul McShane, Sean St Ledger, Darren O'Dea, Stephen Kelly; Seamus Coleman, Jeff Hendrick, James McCarthy, Andy Keogh; Robbie Keane (Capt.), Conor Sammon.

Source: PA