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Robbie Keane has been appointed as assistant manager at Middlesbrough.
Keane met with Jonathan Woodgate and chairman Steve Gibson on Tuesday to discuss the possibility of working with his former team-mate at the Riverside, but he made it clear that he would only take the position if he was allowed to combine it with his role as assistant to Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy.
Both McCarthy and the FAI are happy to allow Keane to take up his first full-time coaching role and the former Republic of Ireland skipper has thanked them for their understanding.
“This is a great opportunity for me on my pathway to a manager’s job in the future and I am very excited about it,” Keane said in a statement released by the FAI.
“I am also grateful to the FAI and to Mick McCarthy for allowing me to take this role and to continue with Ireland. I made it very clear to everyone at Middlesbrough that I would not be coming here if I had to give up my Ireland role and they are happy to agree.
"Ireland means everything to me as it always has done and I look forward now to helping the team in our bid to make the Euro finals and those games in Dublin.”
McCarthy believes the new position will only benefit Keane.
“I am thrilled for Robbie as he takes the next step in his path to becoming a top manager. He told me about it the minute he was offered the job and I told him that it was only a runner if he continued with Ireland," the Ireland manager said.
“We are building for the future with this Ireland team and Robbie is a key part of that. He has made a big impression on the players and the staff already as my assistant coach and this new role will only improve him which works for Middlesbrough and, most importantly, for Ireland.”