Keogh is hungry to prove himself again at MK Dons

Richard KeoghRichard Keogh
Richard Keogh
"I’m delighted it’s finally happened now, from myself, it’s been a long time coming"

Defender Richard Keogh says he has missed football after signing for MK Dons, having been out of the game for the last 10 months.

The 33-year-old was sacked by Derby last October, having suffered a knee injury which threatened to end the Republic of Ireland international's career. Penning a deal with Russell Martin's side, Keogh becomes Dons' third signing of the summer after Carlton Morris arriving on loan from Norwich and defender Daniel Harvie from Ayr United.

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Martin spoke regularly last season of needing experienced heads in his dressing room, and few come more experienced than Keogh, having played more than 400 games in the Championship.

After missing nearly a year of football, Keogh says Dons are getting a player desperate to prove himself again.

"You’re going to get a hungry guy who has missed some football," he said. "I’m looking forward to getting out there and trying to move this club and this team forward.

"I’m delighted it’s finally happened now, from myself, it’s been a long time coming, but once I spoke to Russ and saw the vision and playing style he has – it just felt like the right fit for me.

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"I was getting to a stage in my rehab where I wanted to get to the stage where I started looking at getting a club. Luckily for me, I’ve got that now and I couldn't be more excited, it’s a fantastic set up here and I really believe in what the gaffer is trying to build here and I think it’s going to be a perfect fit for me.

"It felt like it was the right move for me to get back playing football – I’m looking forward to getting back out there. I’ve got a little bit of hard work to do, but I can’t wait to get the shirt on and move this club forward."

Keogh and Martin crossed paths several times in their playing careers, as team-mates at Wycombe in 2005 as well as opponents several times when Derby and Norwich crossed paths. Keogh said he has tracked Martin's progress at Dons since he took over in November, and believes the style of play will suit his game.

He continued: "Russ and I have come up against each other quite a bit. We played together at Wycombe, we’ve always had that mutual respect for each other and I’ve kept a close eye on his career.

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"When I saw he got the MK Dons job I was always keeping an eye out for how he was doing, to do what he did in the short space of time, with the club not in a good situation, and to change the philosophy and the culture in that period was fantastic.

"When I came and met him and he showed me his vision for where he fits in the team and where this team could get to, it follows everything I’m about. The style of play was key for me, I want to help the team on the pitch and also off the pitch with my experience."

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