If the bookies are correct, Dubliner Andy Keogh will become only the second Irishman to claim an A League Premiership by the end of the month.
The talented Perth Glory striker has enjoyed a stellar season, helping his club to their first Premiers Plate, ending a 15 year silverware drought.
Along the way he’s scored 17 goals, making him the highest scorer in a single season in Glory’s A-League history.
Keogh told The Irish Echo: “I’m very proud. [Winning the Premier’s Plate] is long overdue but thoroughly deserved this year. Very happy, delighted to have played a part.”
Perth Glory have led the race all season, losing only two games on their way to claiming the plate with two rounds to spare after a 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets on April 14. Glory will next face Adelaide United for a place in the A League Grand Final.
Keogh, 32, joined Perth Glory in 2014 and although he went to play in Thailand a year later, he returned for a second spell with the club in 2016.
He has been Perth’s star striker since his arrival and this season, his most prolific to date, helped Tony Popovic’s team to the top of the table.
“I’m very happy with [my goalscoring record]”, he said. “I can’t complain with how the games have gone and the overall season. “Of course, we’ve come a long way this season and we don’t want to stop now. We want to take all the silverware and continue the good form.”
Keogh plied his trade with Leeds, Scunthorpe United, Wolves and Millwall and earned 30 caps for Republic of Ireland, scoring two international goals, before making the move to Perth where he had some family. While playing at Millwall, Keogh had a devastating striking partnership with Harry Kane who was on loan from Tottenham and is now England captain.
Keogh would become only the second Irish player to win an A League Grand Final after Liam Miller who claimed the honour with Brisbane Roar in 2014. Miller passed away from cancer last year at the age of 36.
“I played with him many years with the Irish team,” Keogh recalled. “To win the Grand Final and join his company as the only Irishmen to win one would be very honouring for me and very good for myself because we used to knock around together.”
Keogh says he loves playing A League soccer and believes the appointment of Liverpool legend Robbie Fowler as manager of Brisbane Roar reaffirms the competition’s international standing.
“Great. Good profile. Great player. It’s always good to have people of that stature representing teams in the A League,” Keogh said. “I’m sure he’ll bring a lot to the team and the league and attract a lot of good imports, good import players.”
Asked if Perth is home now for him and his family, Andy says: “Definitely, we’re getting our citizenship soon so it’s a place we’re calling home for the foreseeable future.”
Also key in Perth Glory’s successful season was former Aston Villa and Millwall defender Shane Lowry.
Born in Perth to Irish parents, Lowry played for Republic of Ireland up to Under- 23 level before declaring for the Socceroos.