Andy Keogh has left English football to sign with Perth Glory of the A-League.
The Irish striker, whose contract with Millwall had just expired, told The Independent that he was keen to take on Australian football not in the twilight of his career but in his peak years. Keogh had been playing in English football for the last 10 years, but age of 28 he is now moving with his wife and daughter to Western Australia.
“A lot of those players tend to be at the end of their career,” Keogh says, discussing some of the big names to have moved to the A-League. “But I want to be a bit different and go for it now, when I’m coming into my prime. I’m going to give it a good go.”
The A-League has become famous, in part, for staging the last few years of Alessandro Del Piero’s career, at Sydney FC, while Emile Heskey is about to start his third season with the Newcastle Jets. William Gallas was at Perth Glory last year and could be a team-mate of Keogh’s next year. It was two old mates of Keogh’s though, who told him what Australian football is like.
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
The 10 best free agents on the market this summer
1/8 Guillermo Ochoa
The Mexican goalkeeper rose to fame thanks to his brilliant performance against Brazil in the World Cup. The 28-year-old, who left Ajaccio at the end of the season, has been linked with a move to the Premier League.
2/8 Rio Ferdinand
Both halves of Manchester United’s famous central defence for the past eight years are leaving this summer. Nemanja Vidic is off to Italy to play for Internazionale while Rio Ferdinand was told at the weekend that United would not be renewing his contract. Ferdinand said last week that if United did not offer him a new deal that he would be “open to offers” but joked that he “would not go below the Conference”. That is unlikely to be an issue as there should be no shortage of clubs looking for a defender of his experience. Queen’s Park Rangers, should they come up, are managed by Ferdinand’s old mentor Harry Redknapp, while even bigger teams like Arsenal could be tempted.
3/8 Diego Lugano
The Uruguay captain hit the headlines in Brazil for the wrong reasons as his complete denial that team-mate Luis Suarez bit Giorgio Chiellini when everyone else could see it. His contract with West Brom is up for renewal, but the 33-year-old is unlikely to remain in the Premier League.
4/8 Nicolas Anelka
Sacked by West Brom last season for his controversial 'Quenelle' gesture, Anelka has not yet confirmed whether he will sign for a new club - should anyone want him - or announce his retirement.
5/8 Frank Lampard
As with Terry and Cole, Lampard’s Chelsea deal expires at the end of the season and he is likely to follow Terry in signing a new deal at Stamford Bridge. Lampard is not the dynamic presence in midfield that he once was, and he started only 20 Premier League games this season. But as his inclusion in Roy Hodgson’s World Cup squad demonstrated, his experience and presence are invaluable and he is more than worth having around. That said, if he does not renew at Chelsea, there would surely be offers from abroad, not least from long-time suitors LA Galaxy.
6/8 Marouane Chamakh
The Moroccan striker has completed a one-year deal at Crystal Palace that could barely have gone much better. Since he was entrusted with a role as a withdrawn striker by Tony Pulis in December, he has been excellent, scoring five goals and helping to drag Palace out of the relegation zone and into safety. Chamakh will be discussing his future with the club soon but he said last week that agreeing a new deal at Palace was his “priority”, after building an excellent rapport with the fans and playing his best football since his arrival in England from France in 2010. If not, he would like to stay in the Premier League.
7/8 Samuel Eto'o
The striker did not cover himself in glory at the 2014 World Cup, as Cameroon's campaign was blighted by a money row over bonuses and poor performances in Brazil that saw them eliminated at the group stages. However, the Champions League winner will still have a number of clubs interested in his services, with Arsenal being linked in recent weeks.
8/8 Nicklas Bendtner
Despite a fairly successful season by his standards, Nicklas Bendtner is on his way out of Arsenal. The Dane has scored twice this year, in wins over Hull and Cardiff, but he fell behind Yaya Sanogo in the pecking order while not always conducting himself immaculately off the pitch. He turned down moves away from Arsenal last summer that would have meant pay cuts but this summer he must be hopeful of maximising his value as a free agent.
Liam Miller, who played with Keogh for the Republic of Ireland, was at Perth Glory and is now at Brisbane Roar. Daniel McBreen, an old Scunthorpe team-mate of Keogh’s, has also played for Perth Glory, amongst others, but is now at Shanghai East Asia. “I know a couple of guys,” Keogh said, “and they’ve got nothing but positive things to say. It’s definitely on the up.”
Keogh had already seen Perth, on a pre-season tour with Wolverhampton Wanderers in 2009, and the positive impression stayed with him. “I’ve always wanted to do it, to experience a new league and a new way of life. I saw the facilities and the people and it was a really positive place.”
The A-League season does not start until 10 October but Keogh will join up for a long pre-season starting in mid-June, with a tour of Malaysia, as well as the opening rounds of the FFA Cup in late July. The goal is to reach the A-League Grand Final next year and, if possible, to qualify for the Asian Champions League.
“It is a new challenge and I am excited,” said Keogh. “Obviously you only live once.” If it goes well, Keogh is open to staying beyond his three-year deal. “I am a very open person, I am not a negative person. You never know where life is going to take you, but it has taken us here for now.”Reuse content