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Highlights on Off The Ball

Gary Breen is very excited for what Dean Kiely will bring to Ireland

With Dean Kiely announced as Stephen Kenny's new goalkeeping coach, Gary Breen explained on OTB S...

Gary Breen is very excited for...

Gary Breen is very excited for what Dean Kiely will bring to Ireland

With Dean Kiely announced as Stephen Kenny's new goalkeeping coach, Gary Breen explained on OTB Sports why Ireland should be very excited about this new addition.

As Ireland succumbed to a 1-0 defeat against Wales late last year, Gary Breen wondered what exactly the Irish defensive unit was being instructed to do.

"It was so noticeable after the England game that Shane Duffy was standing there wanting the ball and [Darren] Randolph was not giving it to him," he recalled, growing suspicious that it was not absolutely clear how the team was supposed to play.

"Either you're playing our from the back or you're not, but either way the goalkeeper and the main centre-half were on totally different wavelengths.

"There'll be none of that with Dean Kiely."

A former international teammate of Stephen Kenny's latest addition to his backroom team, Breen is convinced that Ireland have recruited a coach in Kiely of remarkable talents.

Clearly asserting that he has no first-hand knowledge of the coaching situation under Kiely's predecessor and another former teammate Alan Kelly, Breen offered an insight into what Kiely will bring to the role.

Although the former Premier League 'keeper had no known relationship with Kenny before taking on the role, Breen suspects that it will not take Kiely long to forge a bond with the Ireland boss.

"This guy is so loyal," asserted Breen, "he will work tirelessly for that manager.

"In fact, I would nearly imagine that Dean interviewed Stephen in terms of the role. 'What do you expect from me?' 'This is what I want to do.' Underneath all of that though, Dean will coach Stephen's chosen goalkeeper to do exactly what he wants him to do.

"He will sit down with the goalkeepers and find out exactly what they need to play to the best of their ability and he will do everything in his ability to deliver it. He is a brilliant addition.

"Lads will love being in his company too. He is very professional and very serious about his craft, but he has a really good personality. I think the goalkeepers will love him."

Dean Kiely November, 1999: Dean Kiely trains alongside Alan Kelly

Currently employed at club level by Crystal Palace, Dean Kiely amassed 11 caps for the Republic of Ireland during his playing career - a total that the 'keeper would like to have been higher, Breen acknowledged.

Throughout a club career that saw him play in excess of 700 games, he has worked as a goalkeeping coach with West Brom, Norwich and Preston before taking on his latest role at Palace.

Having represented England at underage level, the English-born Kiely made his Ireland debut as a 29-year-old against Turkey in trying circumstances. Subbed in to replace Alan Kelly with 30 minutes to go in the first-leg of a Euro 2000 playoff in Dublin, the Charlton Athletic 'keeper would be starting in Ataturk a few days later.

Although the result did not go Ireland's well, Gary Breen, who started alongside Kenny Cunningham in front of Kiely that night, has not forgotten the lasting impression Kiely made on him.

"When you usually have a game of that magnitude and someone comes in who is relatively raw," he explained, "there's always a worry that you're going to have to hold their hand a little bit and coach them through it and you can't really do that because you need to look after your own game.

"I always remember though, he was exceptional on the day. He was bossing the situation behind us, a real vocal presence."

Citing Kiely's passion for the Republic of Ireland, Breen is certain that it will not only be the new goalkeeping coach who hopes that this latest involvement brings great success.

"I think hid Dad will be buzzing around Leamington Spa at the Irish Centre that his son is back involved again," Breen concluded, the full video of his involvement on OTB Football Saturday available here.

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Read more about

Alan Kelly Charlton Athletic Crystal Palace Dean Kiely Gary Breen Republic Of Ireland Stephen Kenny West Bromwich Albion