When you consider that he is still just 28 and has extensive EPL and Championship experience, plus 30 senior Ireland caps on his resume, it’s not hard to understand why Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe was so keen to secure the services of Andy Keogh
And the new recruit has duly lived up to his impressive pedigree during the club’s pre-season campaign, producing several standout displays.So we thought it was high time he made his “Glory Days” debut and he was good enough to give us his thoughts on everything from the growth of the A-League to great white sharks.
Glory Days: Thanks for your time, Andy.First up, what was the thinking behind your decision to up sticks and sign for Glory?
Andy Keogh: I came out of contract at Millwall at the end of last season and I had a few things to weigh up, some good offers on the table. But I was interested in trying my luck abroad and going down a different route and I’d always been interested in Australia. The fact that this move came up gave me something to think about and I decided to go for it.
I’d been in England for 12 years and done reasonably well, played in the Premiership, won promotions and played for my country, so it was no wrench for me to leave. It was just all excitement to start a new chapter and almost start another mini-career over this side of the world.
GD: And of course Perth was a city you were already familiar with for a couple of different reasons.
AK: That’s right. My parents, my brother, two uncles, two aunties and loads of cousins already live here and I came here with Wolves five years ago as well, so I’m pretty familiar with the place and getting more familiar with it by the day. The other players have really made me feel welcome as well. We’re having good training sessions and good banter off the field as well. It’s a good group and we’re all doing bits and bobs together.
GD: In terms of the A-League, how much awareness of it did you have before you agreed to sign for Glory?
AK: I’ve always kept an eye on the league and when Liam Miller came over a few years ago, I followed him pretty closely. I was speaking to Damien Duff the other day as well and there’s definitely a lot of excitement around football here at the moment. The league is attracting a lot of good players and I can only see it getting bigger and better. A good friend of mine, Jonny Steele, has just signed for the Jets and I’m sure there’s going to be more to follow in the next few weeks. It all bodes well for the standard of the local players that people are coming over and wanting to play in the league. I’ve seen from our training sessions here that the standard of the local players is good and I can see that the league’s going to be tough.
GD: Has Kenny Lowe outlined his aims for the season?
AK: No, he hasn’t said anything to us and you’d have to ask him what his targets are. As players we all have our own thoughts and rather than just talk about what we want to do, we need to get out on the pitch and put the performances in. Obviously we all want to make sure we that we wipe out the bad season we had last year by having a good one this year. We have a team that looks good on paper, but I’ve seen that a lot in England and it doesn’t guarantee success. It’s not just the ability in the changing-room; it’s more about getting the camaraderie and unity and wanting to work for one another.
GD: There’s a real buzz among the supporters about today’s meeting with Malaga. Are the players excited about it as well?
AK: Definitely. It’ll be great for us to get a good game in before we play in the FFA Cup and I’m glad that the club has managed to line it up. We’re all on more of the same wavelength after the Sydney trip and I think there’s something in the pipeline in terms of more friendlies. Getting away with the team is great for bonding.
GD: On a personal note, what impact do you think the move to Glory will have upon your international career?
AK: I don’t really know. I love playing for my country and all I can do is play well for my club and score goals. Realistically, is the manager going to come to the other side of the word when he’s got the easy option of calling up players from England? Probably not. But I’d like to think that the reputation of the A-League is going up, so if a player is in form and scoring goals, you can’t always look the other way and pick players who aren’t playing regularly for their clubs. I’d never turn my back on my country and even though realistically it’s a long shot, I’d love to get the call again, especially with the new management team in place.
GD: You said on Twitter (@andykeogh16) that you’re a pro surfer in the making. Have you been getting in the water a lot since you arrived?
AK: No, that was just a bit of banter. I’m focusing on the football now and I’ll worry about the great whites later!