“He would have been a logical choice.”
The Republic of Ireland’s record appearance-holder and goalscorer turned down the chance to manage the Lilywhites back in August. Filippo Giovagnoli became manager instead and oversaw Dundalk’s qualification for the Europa League group stages.
Dundalk have thrived without Keane as their head coach. But it could have been the Dubliner leading the Louth side out at the Emirates to face Arsenal on Thursday night.
Dundalk’s offer to Robbie Keane.
Hulsizer has said that Keane turned down the chance to manage Dundalk because he was still under contract with the FAI.
“Robbie said that he couldn’t do it because he was still involved with the FAI,” Hulsizer, the Dundalk chairman, told the Times.
“That was fine, we understood, but he would have been a logical choice. He was in Ireland, he was well known, I think the players would have played for him. I can’t really attest for his credentials but as you probably have guessed I am a risk-taker and we thought this guy has enough pluses to take a risk.
“It wasn’t to be, but I certainly respect his decision because there was a lot of money involved for him and I am sure the FAI would have said, ‘Oh good, goodbye, tear up the bill’.”
Keane’s time as Ireland coach.
The former Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool striker signed a four-year contract with the FAI in 2018 and was on Mick McCarthy’s coaching team for the Ireland senior squad.
However, Stephen Kenny, the new Ireland manager, opted against including Keane on his coaching team, hiring Keith Andrews and Damien Duff instead.