Keogh to swap Perth Glory and Australia for Middle Eastern adventure

Former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh is set to depart Perth Glory and the A-League to take up an opportunity in Saudi Arabia.

The 33-year-old has been deemed surplus to requirements at Glory, despite finishing as the club’s top scorer with 15 goals as they won the league title last season.

Keogh also received offers from a number of other clubs in Australia but has opted for a move to the Middle East on a two-year deal that will be finalised upon completion of a medical.

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He moved to Western Australia in 2014 and has become the club’s record scorer in the A-League era with 55 goals to his name in 122 appearances.

“I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time in Perth where my family have settled,” he told Back Page Football.

“I wanted to see out my playing days at Perth Glory but unfortunately things haven’t worked out this offseason and I have been given a great opportunity in Saudi Arabia.”

Keogh will become an Australian citizen in the coming weeks, an attractive prospect for clubs competing in the Asian Champions League due to competition’s quota on foreign players.

Having signed a new contract in March of this year his intention was to lead Glory during their first foray into that competition, a personal goal he has had since first arriving Down Under.

Keogh was granted extended leave during the offseason to be the best man at his brother’s wedding in Europe and had his mandatory medical delayed upon return so wasn’t cleared to train.

When he was given the okay by doctors this week the striker was informed that he was no longer a required player.

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Frozen out of the club, Keogh has been training on his own twice a day at a local gym to stay in the best shape possible but with no prospect of seeing any game time in the upcoming campaign he has had to look elsewhere for first team football.

“I want to thank the fans for their support over the past five years, they were brilliant through the good and the bad times,” he said.

“I also want to thank Glory’s owner Tony Sage who I have the utmost respect for given all he does for the club.

“Tony wears his heart on his sleeve and has been great to myself and my family, none of what we have accomplished could have been done without him.

“Brett Lambert, Chris Hutchinson and all of the other staff have been brilliant since day one and I wish them and the team all the best for the year ahead.”

The ex-Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Scunthorpe United man hasn’t ruled out a return to Perth in the future as he has extended family in the city and is working towards his Pro Licence so he can coach at the highest level.

“I don’t want to play for another club in the A-League or have to sit out a season due to being out of favour,” he said.

“Of course I would be open to a return to Glory in the future, I’ve loved playing here in front of the fans and my aim was always to leave a legacy.”

Keogh, who played 30 times for Ireland, leaves Perth having helped Glory to their first piece of A-League silverware.

The Author

Neil Sherwin

Co-editor of Writes mostly on Premier League and A-League with contributions to other sites including TheFootballSack, InBedWithMaradona and Bloomberg's BSports. Has featured on The Guardian's Football Weekly.

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