Keogh set to spearhead Glory’s revival

Perth Glory’s new number nine Andy Keogh is relishing the opportunity to help turn the club’s fortunes around after a tumultuous 2013/14. 

The 28-year-old was yesterday confirmed as a Glory player on a two-year deal with an option for a third and is due to arrive in Western Australia with his wife Natalie and their nine-year-old daughter ahead of Glory’s preseason training programme which starts on June 18.

“I’m looking forward to it, I’ve got family and friends that live out there already,” he says.

“I’ve been there before on holiday and with a preseason tour with Wolves, and me and the family are looking forward to it really. It’s a new challenge and a new beginning.”

As well as his time with Wolves in the English Premier League and Championship, Keogh also had spells with Leeds United, Scunthorpe United, Bury, Cardiff City, Bristol City, Millwall and Blackpool.

While there were options on the table to stay in that part of the world, Glory’s offer of first team football in a new environment was too good to turn down.

“I had offers from England, I actually met a few managers before I decided what I was going to do and before the Glory thing became more likely to happen,” he says.

“I was just biding my team, deciding which option to take. I sat down with the family and discussed things and we decided to go for it.

“The trend has been for players in the last couple of years of their career to go abroad to MLS or the A-League but I thought that instead of doing that I’d go with it and really make a name for myself.”

With 30 Republic of Ireland caps and two goals to his name, Keogh doesn’t feel that a move to the other side of the world and a developing league will be detrimental to his future international opportunities.

“I haven’t spoken to Martin O’Neill because I think he took over six months ago and I’ve not been involved,” he says.

“There was a few issues at Millwall where I wasn’t playing in my position so that was frustrating for me at the time because I wasn’t getting the new management what I could do.

“I haven’t closed the door on anything like that, I just want to do as well as I can for the club.”

Glory struggled for goals last season with the now departed Shane Smeltz spending a lot of time on the sidelines, and Keogh will be tasked with filling that void.

One of the Irishman’s biggest strengths is his work rate, something that went down well with Giovanni Trapattoni when he was manager of the national side.

Keogh is eager to get down to business with Glory for preseason and knows what it takes to be successful on the back of his experiences in England.

“For me personally, whenever I’ve been involved in promotions, it’s always been about the spirit and the lads wanting to do it for one another so I think that needs to be built,” he says.

“Obviously with new faces and additions that will be key, and with the good manager that we and the quality players brought in it’s going to be down to hard work.”

When asked about the overwhelmingly positive reaction to his signing, Keogh was surprised but knows there is a lot of hard work to do to live up to the expectations.

“I didn’t expect that [the interest] at all, it’s nice to see and very humbling,” he says.

“The main focus though is getting over, getting as fit and as sharp as possible, cracking on with work on the pitch. It counts for nothing really until I do the business.”

Glory CEO Jason Brewer had been an admirer of Keogh’s for a while and is delighted to have an experienced international on board for the next few seasons.

“It’s another positive signing for Perth Glory. Andy is an exciting player, very hard-working, who plays football to win and to score goals,” he said in a club press release announcing the deal.

“I met up with Andy earlier this month in the UK, he’s got a fantastic attitude and it’s great to be able to bring a player of such quality and experience into the Perth Glory squad.”

While a move so far from home can be daunting for some, Keogh is ready to face the challenge head on and is looking forward to being part of the competition.

“I’m really intrigued to establish myself and make my mark in Australia and hopefully in the Asian Champions League,” he says.

“I’ve done the Premier League, the Championship and internationals, and scored goals in all of that so I found that England was not appealing to me as much anymore and I wanted to try something new.

“I’m always one to try new things and go against the grain as they say, I’m just ready for it.”

Keogh joins Ruben Zadkovich, Diego Ferreira, Dino Djulbic and Youssouf Hersi on the list of offseason signings for Glory as Coach Kenny Lowe shapes his squad for next season.

SHARE
mm
Neil has covered the Perth Glory and the Hyundai A-League for five years and is one of Western Australia's most knowledgeable football journalists.