Derby,on Thursday, signed Richard Keogh from Coventry for an undisclosed fee believed to exceed that received for selling Jason Shackell earlier this summer. Nigel Clough has handed Keogh the captain’s armband following Shaun Barker’s absence. The Rams fought off interest from other Championship clubs including Cardiff and Leeds to grab the signature of their number one target. Here’s a look at Richard Keogh’s career prior to him joining The Rams.
Quick Fact File
Born- 11 August 1986 (aged 25, as of July 2012)
Height- 6 ft 2 in
Position- Centre Back (can also play at full-back)
Club appearances- 269 (career total)
Club goals- 17 (career total)
International- 8 caps, Republic of Ireland Under 21
As a schoolboy Keogh went to Ipswich Town’s academy but moved to Stoke City’s youth set up in 2003. While at Stoke he was loaned to Icelandic club Víkingur, playing 9 matches. Eventually Stoke released him in 2005, without him being given a first team appearance. Bristol City snapped him up following his release from The Potters. After Bristol loaned him to Wycombe Wanderers he began to establish himself in the team following his return from his loan spell. He grabbed his first goal against Walsall as he developed in cementing his place in the starting line up. He continued his form into the 2006/07 season, further confirming his place on the team sheet. That season he was given the honour of captaining the republic of Ireland under 21 side. He won the club’s Young Player of the Year that season, playing 43 times in all competitions. Keogh grabbed four goals that season as The Robins gained promotion to the Championship, finishing second behind Scunthorpe United. Keogh began the 2007/08 season struggling to break into the team so consequently went on on loan to Huddersfield town on 31 August 2007, he made his debut the following day for The Terriers. The defender scored his fifth career goal and first for Huddersfield in a defeat to Cheltenham while on loan at the Glapharm Stadium. He returned to Bristol City in late October as Huddersfield decided against extending his loan spell after making 10 appearances for the Yorkshire side. In November Bristol City loaned the Irish under 21 international to Carlisle United, he made 7 appearances before returning to Ashton Gate in January 2008. Then in March that year Keogh was loaned out once again, this time Cheltenham Town acquired his services. His first game was a 2-1 victory at Leeds United, in that loan spell he went on to make 10 appearances.
In August 2008 Richard made the move from Bristol City to Carlisle United, where he had spent a short loan spell the previous season. The move was for for an undisclosed fee, during his time with The Robins he made 53 appearances and scored 5 goals. In his first season as a Carlisle player he went on to play in 35 games games and to score 1 goal. Keogh quickly became a fans’ favourite at Brunton Park with many fans carrying a ‘In Keogh we trust’ banner around the country in support of Richard Keogh and Carlisle. In what proved to be his last season at Carlisle (2009/10 season) he made a total of 53 appearances, the same total he made in three years with Bristol City. He scored 5 goals that season, also the same amount he scored while with The Robins. During that season the defender helped the club reach the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final at Wembley, only to lose to Southampton. This season also saw him win player of the year for the league one side. Following the end of the season he turned down new contract offers from the club, seeing him become a free agent following the expiry of his deal at Brunton Park.
In July 2010 Keogh signed a three-year deal with then Championship side Coventry City. The West Midlands side did have to pay a compensation sum to his previous club Carlisle because the defender was then under the age of 24. In his first season with the Sky Blues he impressively played every minute of every game, resulting in 48 appearances and 1 goal to his name for the 2010/11 season. His first and only Coventry goal that season came on the final day of the season against Norwich City. The 2010/11 season was the second successive season he’d won a Player of the Year award. He had become a popular figure with the fans despite the club being relegated in what proved to be his last season with the club. He had played every minute of every Coventry City game before his unfortunate dismissal on 21 April 2012 against Doncaster Rovers. That season he played 48 times, scoring 3 goals in a dismal season for Coventry. Once again for the third successive season Keogh had won a Player of the Year accolade. Following their relegation many clubs showed an interest in signing the defender, including bids from Cardiff and former club Bristol City. But it was Derby County on July 19th who won the race to sign him.
Richard Keogh is a very impressive signing and is a good replacement for Jason Shackell. Since Shacks left, the club would not only be looking for a new defender but also a leader to captain in Shaun Barker’s unfortunate absence, they’ve definitely got both of those attributes in Keogh. At only 25 he’s already made nearly 270 career appearances so has plenty of experience, particularly at this level. He’s eased the pain of Shackell’s departure and could even go on to be a better player than Shackell was at Derby, he’s got the potential. He’s shone at in a struggling Coventry side for the past couple of years so I certainly looks like he can have a good impact in a Derby shirt. I predict he’ll be a key player for The Rams over the course of the season and I’m looking forward to watching him in pre-season next week.