at the Union Buildings in Pretoria
London - Roy Keane was confirmed as Aston Villa's new assistant manager on Tuesday, working alongside the Premier League club's boss Paul Lambert while continuing his job as number two to Republic of Ireland manager Martin O'Neill.
O'Neill has given the move his approval and the 42-year-old former Manchester United midfielder will be in place when pre-season training begins on July 7.
Following discussions with O'Neill, the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) and Aston Villa, Keane felt the move will give him a chance to coach outside the international window and monitor the progress of Irish players in the Premier League.
“I am looking forward to linking up with Paul Lambert at Aston Villa and thank Martin and the FAI for giving me the opportunity to do so,” Keane said in an FAI media release on Tuesday.
“I remain totally committed to my job with the Republic of Ireland and all that it involves. This agreement promises to be an exciting challenge and will give me an opportunity to continue developing my coaching skills on a daily basis that should ultimately benefit everyone.”
Lambert had no doubts that the former Irish international's input would prove a huge asset for the club.
“Roy has a great knowledge of football, on the coaching side as well, and he'll be a great asset and a big help to everybody here at Aston Villa Football Club,” Lambert told the Villa website (www.avfc.co.uk).
“Roy brought Sunderland up out of the Championship and into the Premier League, he gained further experience at Ipswich - where we were close rivals while I was manager at Norwich - and he's now working at international level as assistant manager with the Republic of Ireland.
“All of that experience and knowledge along with the qualities he has as a longstanding, leading professional in the game means he will bring a lot to the table. We're delighted to have him here,” Lambert added.