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Keane: This is where I belong

Paul Cuddihy

“I FEEL this is where I belong.” With these words, Roy Keane announced his arrival at Celtic Park in a transfer that is the most high-profile the club has ever been involved in.

Certainly the impact it has made stretches way beyond the confines of Scotland and it only serves to further increase the stature of the club throughout the football world.

The Irishman has signed an initial 18-month contract, keeping him at the club until June 2007. And as news quickly spread of the signing coup, Celtic supporters began to gather outside the front entrance of the stadium in their hundreds.

Facing a packed media today as he was officially unveiled, Keane himself looked calm and confident and spoke with a quiet assurance that the decision to sign for Celtic is the right one for him.

“It’s a great move for me,” the Irish internationalist said. “It was important that I took my time over the past three or four weeks but now that everything’s done it’s a good day for me. It’s been a strange few weeks since leaving United but it’s a great move for me and I’m really looking forward to the challenge.

“It was important I took my time and made the right decision and walking round the club today I felt really comfortable. I’ve met one or two of the players and I feel this is where I belong. It’s been documented over the years that I’ve been up to Celtic Park for a few games and I’ve always enjoyed coming up and watching them. They’re seeking to improve and win titles, and that’s what I’m in the game for. I’ve not come up here on a PR trip or an ego trip or to unwind, far from it.

“I’m here to win football matches and help the squad. I’m very much a team player, despite the reports. I want the team to do well and that’s what I’ve come up here for and that’s what I’ve come up here for, to help the club move onto the next level and win trophies.

“That’s what I’m in the game for. I’m not necessarily in the game to be popular. I like training hard, I like playing hard. I like pushing myself. I like pushing the people I work with hard. In the modern day there seems to be a problem with that but that’s what I enjoy doing.

“A team like Celtic, which is challenging for trophies, needs a big squad and I’m well aware that the players who are at Celtic have done very well. I’m under no illusions that I’m going to come up here and walk straight into the team. I’ve never done that in my career. I’ve never taken my position for granted so what I’m looking to do over the next couple of weeks is to train hard and give the manager a problem.

“But I think when I was at my previous club, when we bought midfielders I saw that as a challenge and hopefully the players here will see that as a challenge. If you want to be successful you need a big squad and everyone’s going to be vying for eleven positions and I’m no different from that.

“Over the next couple of weeks my priority is to try and get a bit of sharpness and getting to know my new team-mates.”
And when asked about how his reputation as a plain speaker would go down in the Celtic dressing-room, Keane joked: “I’m sure they’ll love me!”

He went on to say: “I never ask a team-mate to do anything I wouldn’t be prepared to do myself and I know there are a lot of good players here – a lot of senior players and a lot of young lads. The fans will judge me on what I do on the football pitch and not on what I say. There’s been a lot of nonsense written over the past few months over what I’ve supposed to have said but I’ve come up here to try and do well and help the squad.”

The player is not eligible to play for Celtic until January 1, 2006, but he dismissed any fears regarding the current state of his fitness.

“I was fit four or five week ago,” he explained. “Just before I left United I was due to play in a reserve match but that was shelved. It’s been frustrating, but I’m glad I took those few extra weeks to take my time and make my decision and come up with the right decision.

“I’m looking forward to all the games. The players here have done brilliantly and, considering the position I play, the best two players in Scotland over the past four or five years have been Neil Lennon and Stilian Petrov, so, again I’m under no illusions as to how hard it will be.”
I shall wait to see whether this shall indeed be an asset
Keene would be an asset to almost any club. The problem with football nowadays is that all players get paid far too much and get treated with kid gloves. As a United supporter I was very sorry to have seen him go but thatÂ’s life. Most of the United players needed a good bollocking at that time and a lot of what he said made a lot of sense.
TheDuck Wrote:I shall wait to see whether this shall indeed be an asset
Having weighed up the pro's and cons, I now see this as a positive move, both for Celtic and for Scottish football in general. It raises the profile of the Scottish game tremendously, and lets face it, Roy Keane is still one heck of a player.

(and it got Alcap out of the closet :worthy: )
Hopefully Neil Lennon is happy

Big Grin

yes .. what a shocker alcap out in the open and telling everyone he is a Man U supporter. At least oom Rob will be happy .. one wonders whether it has been mentioned that TheDuck is a Leeds supporter

and of course Celtic

Big Grin
One of the millions that have supported them most of my life but never been to an actual match. mind you - promises were made by a certain individual - not mentioning names. :crylol: :crylol:
the old expression

a promise is a promise
TheDuck Wrote:the old expression

a promise is a promise

We will get there Wink
After they get relegated next year?
TheDuck Wrote:.. one wonders whether it has been mentioned that TheDuck is a Leeds supporter

U have my sympathies Big Grin