Keith Andrews looking forward to 'exciting new chapter' with Ireland

Keith Andrews is proud at being named as assistant to new Ireland manager Stephen Kenny but also conscious that there are many people stepping up to face much more daunting challenges in the country at the moment.
Keith Andrews looking forward to 'exciting new chapter' with Ireland
Stephen Kenny, Keith Andrews, and new U21 manager Jim Crawford.

Keith Andrews is proud at being named as assistant to new Ireland manager Stephen Kenny but also conscious that there are many people stepping up to face much more daunting challenges in the country at the moment.

"There's a huge side of me that is looking at what's going on in the world, in the country and on your doorstep", said the former international. “You're glued to the news day in and day out and not really feeling you can do much about it, to be perfectly honest, other than stay at home and try and look after your loved ones.

“It's been a difficult few weeks for all of us, some more than others, and the admiration I've got for those frontline workers, and people working in shops, and bus drivers, is huge. There's that side of it but obviously, at times, you have to look at what you've achieved in getting this role and let it sink in. And it's one that I'm very proud of.”

Andrews, who had been Kenny’s assistant with the U21s before joining him in stepping up to the senior squad, is relishing the busy schedule the staff and team will face when football does eventually make its comeback. Irish fans, he believes, have much to look forward to.

“People are going through a lot of pain and anguish at the moment and that's probably going to go on for a period of time of course,” he told FAI TV. “But I suppose (football is) one release for people and one element of enjoyment. It's always been the case, hasn't it?

"You got back to '88 and '90 - there were some tough times in the '80s - and hopefully we can bring some good times and give people something to look forward to.

Because with the amount of games that we're hopefully going to have, the different competitions that we're going to be involved in - huge, huge games - hopefully it will be an exciting next chapter.

Currently, Andrews is doing his bit to keep the younger fans occupied by contributing coaching tips to the FAI’s Homeskills online programme.

"I think it's important that we try and protect them to a degree from what's going on in the world (although) I'm sure they know depending on what sort of age they are,” he said.

“I've had plenty of texts and phone calls from friends, saying, 'They're not interested at the moment'. They were due to play competitions or some of them were going away on trips, Easter is always a popular time to bring schoolboys and schoolgirls away on trips to play in different countries.

"We know it's been difficult for them, so if we can give them just a little bit of focus and enjoyment...We've seen some brilliant videos coming in with tins of paint and bits of turf, it's been brilliant to see, and hopefully that will continue over the next days and weeks.”

- To tune in to Keith and Pearl Slattery every weekday morning at 11am, you can visit FAIGrassroots on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

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