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'It was just fairytale stuff really' - Conor Hourihane on Roy Keane looking out for him at Sunderland

Conor Hourihane explains that Roy Keane looked out for him at Sunderland when he was a teenager because of where he was from.

Ireland international midfielder and Derby player Conor Hourihane joined The Football Show to talk about Roy Keane.

Roy Keane's managerial career hasn't existed since 2011. He was an assistant for Ireland, Aston Villa and Nottingham Forest during the intervening period, but his success as a manager is more than a decade ago.

But when Keane was at Sunderland initially he received plenty of plaudits for the success he had at the club.

At the same time as his senior team were winning games and moving upwards, Keane also kept an eye out on a young Cork man in the youth side. Conor Hourihane is now a 31-year-old Ireland international, but back then he was an 18-year-old unknown.

Hourihane explained that Keane always kept an eye out for him in part because they were both from Cork.

"He signed me at Sunderland. He signed me at Ipswich," Hourihane said.

"I met him again along the way with the Ireland international career. As part of that setup. An incredible, incredible man. Someone I still idolize to this day. It feels hugely fortunate that a man of his calibre, who had the career he had, signed me twice.

"He gave me more caps with Martin along the way in my international career...he was amazing to be around during my career when I was around him without a doubt."

When asked specifically about playing for Keane as a teenager, Hourihane joked that he just wanted to help someone from Cork. But he also suggested there was some validity behind that joke.

"He probably just wanted to give an opportunity to a fella from Cork first and foremost. Let's be honest.

"When I was at Sunderland especially, and Ipswich, there was [myself and] Shane O'Connor from Cork as well. Lads that he felt like...Cork lad, I'll keep an extra eye on you. I'll make sure you're okay. He definitely did that with me without a doubt.

"It was just fairytale stuff really. Nothing but good things to say."

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Conor Hourihane Ireland Ireland Soccer Roy Keane Soccer