Andy Keogh to Perth Glory: Former Millwall striker Keogh follows in the footsteps of Alessandro Del Piero and Emile Heskey as he heads to Australian A-League

Free agent Keogh has decided to move to Australia with his family to begin a new chapter in his career, he tells Jack Pitt-Brooke

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.

 

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.”

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