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Andrews hopes that football can raise spirits

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Republic of Ireland coach Keith Andrews. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Republic of Ireland coach Keith Andrews. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

SPORTSFILE

Republic of Ireland coach Keith Andrews. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

New Ireland assistant Keith Andrews is hoping that the Stephen Kenny era can help to lift the spirits of the nation whenever football resumes.

Andrews is conscious of the "pain and anguish" being felt around the country due to the Covid-19 crisis with all industries worried about the implications.

The ex-Ireland midfielder admits that it's strange to be speaking about sport in that context, but he is hopeful that the football team can do their part to raise morale further down the line.

He pointed to the impact that Jack Charlton's Ireland side had on the nation as a whole.

"You go back to 1988 and 1990 and there were some tough times," said Andrews.

"Hopefully we can bring some good times and give people something to look forward to because the amount of games that we're hopefully going to have, the different competitions we're going to be involved in.

"Hopefully it will be an exciting next chapter.

"I suppose it (football) is a release for people. It's always been the case, hasn't it?"

As it stands, Kenny's Ireland will try to qualify for the rescheduled Euros in an autumn play-off series, in addition to kicking off the UEFA Nations League campaign, with a nod to the World Cup Qatar tilt.

That is all subject to football receiving the green light to go ahead, a situation that is under constant review.

Andrews was honoured to receive the call to make the move up along with Kenny, and is thrilled by Damien Duff's appointment to the coaching staff.

"Damien is someone that I know very, very well, again from playing with him," said Andrews, speaking in his capacity as an ambassador for the FAI's online Homeskills programme.

"I'm very friendly with Damien, always kept in touch, we'd been on the Pro Licence together over the last 18 months or so.

"I've been in to watch Damien coach at Shamrock Rovers, I've been over to see him at Celtic, so he's a very good friend of mine and I'm very much looking forward to working alongside him."