Keogh signs two-year deal with Perth Glory

Ex-Millwall forward Andy Keogh has become Perth Glory’s latest signing after agreeing to a two-year deal with the A-League outfit.

The Republic of Ireland international has decided to move his young family to other side of the world in what he described as a “great adventure”.

Keogh told the Daily Mail: "The usual trend is for marquee players to go at the end of their careers and take the money but I want to go out there and give a good account of myself.”

UK reports and the player appeared to refer to a marquee deal but there was no mention of it in the club's release with Keogh expected to fit under Perth's salary cap. The deal includes a further one year option.

Glory CEO Jason Brewer said: "It's another positive signing for Perth Glory. Andy is an exciting player, very hard-working, and someone who play's football to win and to score goals.
 
"I met up with Andy earlier this month in the UK, he’s got a fantastic attitude and it's great to be able to bring a player of such quality and experience into the Perth Glory squad for the upcoming season."

The 28-year-old will relocate to Australia with his wife Natalie and their nine-year-old daughter. But it won’t be his first visit Down Under.

“I first went out there when I was about 12 and (then) played there for Wolves in a pre-season tournament a few years back,” Keogh told the Daily Mail.

“I’ve got family out there. My uncles have been in Australia for around 30 years now and my brother Kenny lives near Perth too.

“It will certainly make the change easier but it also helps, to be honest, that the standard is definitely getting better and better.

“It’s a relatively new league and I want to experience it. For me it helps that the quality of leagues abroad are improving.

“The MLS in USA is really coming on and Australia has quality too.

“I’ve done my homework on the club and the city and I’m really excited about the challenge.”

Glory coach Kenny Lowe has been in the UK on a scouting mission and was keen to add attacking firepower to the club's ranks after striker Shane Smeltz left for Sydney FC.

Former Chelsea and Arsenal star William Gallas signed on as Glory's international marquee late last year and is said to be still negotiating his future with the club.

Keogh said he is not put off by Perth's recent troubles and eighth-place finish last season. The club scored the least amount of goals in the 2013-14 campaign.

“I think it will be more settled and there is enough quality there to turn things around,” he added.

“I’m just looking forward to it. I want to help them challenge for the title and get into the AFC Champions League.”

The former English Championship player said the family was partly won over by the outdoor lifestyle Perth offered.

“I always used to get the train to training and I enjoy taking in the different views and seeing what’s around the area,” he said.

“I always wanted to travel the world, embrace different cultures, try different foods, I love all of that.

“I’ve wanted to visit the likes of Thailand, Malaysia and Hong Kong so living in Australia will certainly give me a better chance of seeing those places.

“I think once I finish playing I will get an around the world ticket and go see it all. It should be a great adventure."

Keogh has played for eight different clubs during his 11-year professional career and in January went on loan with the Seasiders from Millwall, making 14 appearances and scoring 3 goals.

But after finishing at Blackpool he found footballing opportunities in the UK getting squeezed.

“It’s getting tough for players here in England,” he said.

‘The market is not what it used to be here. With the regulations of Financial Fair Play, the budgets of clubs even in the Championship are changing.

“It’s tighter and there will be more and more players left waiting until the last minute to see if they can get a deal.

“Not every footballer earns Premier League wages or even money good enough that you can plan with. We don’t all have a trade to fall back on and we can’t all go into coaching.

“You have your family and their livelihood to think of and I believe Australia gives us all a greater opportunity.

“I’m very much a person who likes to look forward. You only live once and I’m one that likes to embrace life and what’s out there.

“It may be more difficult for English players to break away but I came over here as a young boy from Dublin and I have a sense for adventure.”

He added: “I certainly won’t have any regrets in leaving England.

“I may not have had the most glamorous career but I’ve played and scored in every division including the Premier League. So I’ve not done too bad.

“Now I’m in the prime of my career I want to sample life abroad."

Keogh has also played for Leeds, Scunthorpe and Wolverhampton Wanderers and has 30 international caps to his name.