“I felt angry and upset, definitely,” says the Millwall striker who only made it as far as the standby list last summer.
“I had a good three or four months prior to the squad announcement, scoring 10 or 11 goals in 17 games. I finished up as highest Irish scorer that season.”
Asked why he didn’t make his feelings public at the time, the Dubliner says: “I want to still play for my country. I was disappointed. I’ve got my personal opinions on stuff, that don’t need to be said. But you’ve got to be professional, accept decisions and get on with it. I decided to move on and that’s what happened.
“Since the Europeans, it’s been good to be involved again. He [Giovanni Trapattoni] makes his decisions based on what he thinks. Hopefully, I’ll be fit and available to play whenever he asks.”
A measure of 27-year-old Keogh’s commitment to the Irish cause is that, although he’s getting married to his partner Natalie in London on June 14, he’ll be available for all four of Ireland’s upcoming end of season games.
“Yeah, very available, looking forward to it,” he says. “The World Cup qualifier [against the Faroe Islands] is the main one. We’ve got to make sure we do the job and that sets us up for a good finish to the group in September and October. I’ve had a bit of a role to play so far [as a sub against Germany and Sweden]. Hopefully, I can stay involved and if we get to Brazil then I’ll make it this time. That’s an incentive to keep me going.”