A Laois man, an Italian and the Europa league adventure

Rathdowney native Keegan has played a pivotal role in Dundalk's success

Brian Lowry

Reporter:

Brian Lowry

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brian.lowry@leinsterexpress.ie

Former League of Ireland boss joins Dundalk FC in backroom capacity

Former Wexford Youths and Galway United manager Shane Keegan has joined Dundalk FC as opposition analyst. (Pic: Sportsfile)

Dundalk’s progress to the group stages of the Europa league has been the big story in the last 12 hours or so and there is a strong Laois connection involved.

Highly respected coach and Rathdowney native Shane Keegan, who is on the coaching ticket with Dundalk has played a big role in the club advancing to the business end of the competition which will see the club receive a windfall of somewhere in the region of three million euro.

The draw for the group stages were made earlier and the big draw for the Dundalk men is one of the top seeds, Arsenal and Dundalk join them in Group B along with Rapid Vienna and Molde.

Keegan, who has had spells in charge of Wexford Youths and Galway United, joined Dundalk as an opposition analyst under a previous managerial regime fronted by Vinnie Perth but the interim appointment of Italian manager Filippo Giovagnoli has seen Keegan, who is the holder of a UEFA Pro Licence, take a more centred role in the coaching as well as continuing with his analysis of the opposition.

Speaking to our sister paper, the Dundalk Democrat, Keegan explained,

“The main body of my work is still very much the opposition analysis.

“I’ve been spending huge amounts of time over the last two weeks watching opposition games – maybe three/four hours a day. So that’s what eats into the vast majority of my time.

“Obviously where the role has expanded, a hell of a lot, is that I have been on the training ground on a daily basis with them over the last couple of weeks and obviously on match night and in the dressing room having more of an input on things.

The current Portlaoise AFC manager has also strong links with the Leinster Express as when he’s not plotting the downfall of the opposition, he is a business development manager with the Iconic Newspaper group, the group that owns the Leinster Express.

Keegan regularly hosts coaching podcasts and is a regular contributor on all things coaching and soccer with Off The Ball, the Newstalk sports show.