Republic of Ireland captain and LA Galaxy striker Robbie Keane has taken steps to becoming a football coach, after he attended a UEFA coaching course in the Irish town of Carlow on Thursday.
Keane has expressed his desire to get involved in coaching once his goal laden playing career comes to an end and after missing the chance to attend a coaching course last year due to his commitments with MLS side Galaxy, he has now started on that path to a future role on the touchline.
The 33-year-old, who has scored a record 62 goals for his country, followed in the footsteps of international team-mates John O’Shea [Sunderland] and Glenn Whelan [Stoke], as he attended a Football Association of Ireland initiative aimed an encouraging Ireland’s finest players to consider a career in coaching when they hang up their boots.
The course involves over 60 hours of theory and practical sessions, as the FAI look to increase the limited number of Irishmen who have attained the top level coaching qualifications that are required to work in the modern game.
Roy Keane and David O’Leary are among the high-profile former Ireland internationals that have sample life on the touchline after their celebrated playing careers, but both struggled to make their mark over a sustained spell.
Former Republic of Ireland full-back Chris Hughton is the most prominent touchline tactician with an Irish passport in the game right now, after his successful stints in charge of Newcastle and Birmingham preceded his move to Norwich in the summer of 2012.