Robbie Keane can now boast a UEFA ‘A’ Licence to add to an impressive collection of records and accolades.
The Republic of Ireland’s record goalscorer gained the qualification via the Football Association of Ireland’s Coach Education programme over the past three years.
“It has been a long process with a lot of hours put in and I’m delighted to have completed the programme,” Keane said.
“There was a lot more to it than just being out on the pitch coaching players and I’ve had to take on board an enormous amount of information.
“Aspects such as analysis, theory, periodisation, preparation for sessions and various other assignments were testing, but over the period of time I've been involved in it, things came together.
"Ever since Greig Paterson met with the senior international squad about the idea, and I discussed getting my qualifications, it was with a view to ensuring I did the work required to coach at the highest level when the time comes and I’m delighted I was afforded the opportunity to do that at home in Ireland.”
FAI Coach Education manager Greig Paterson praised Keane for the dedication he gave to fulfilling the demands required to attain the UEFA A licence.
"Obviously, with his career still taking up most of his time - not to mention the fact that Robbie lives in Los Angeles for most of the year - there were only certain windows available for Robbie to come over and put in the hours necessary to meet UEFA's requirements," Paterson explained.
"Right from the start he committed himself fully to doing what was required and embraced the whole learning experience in order to attain the necessary competencies of what was a very demanding curriculum. It's very pleasing to see that work has paid off and he has completed the course fully.”
Other former and current internationals on the course include, Glenn Whelan, John O’Shea, Stephen Kelly, Andy Reid, Paul McShane, Gary Kelly and Kevin Foley.