Irish soccer legend Roy Keane has urged children to put down their smartphones and go outside and play football – or climb a tree.
The former Manchester United captain is one of Ireland’s all time sporting heroes, but he is worried about the next generation of Irish athletes.
He said that if kids are going to put in enough practice to be really good at any sport they need to enjoy it and to love it. His worry is that technology might be taking up too much time for a lot of Irish kids.
Keane was speaking to school children at ‘Train To Be Smart’ – an event organised by his former United teammate Pat McGibbon.
He told them: “If you’re not enjoying it there’s something drastically wrong.
“If you want to become good at any sport whether it’s soccer, hurling, football, basketball or boxing for some of the younger kids, unless you really love something it will be hard to become really good at it. So enjoy it.”
Keane – who is currently assistant manager of the Ireland soccer team – is well known for speaking his mind.
He isn’t impressed with the influence technology is having over Irish youngsters and the amount of time they are spending on their phones and other devices.
He had some pretty clear advice for them about what they should do with their smartphones: “Throw them in the bin. Throw them in the bin and play football, practice.
“Kick the ball against a wall, play with your mates. Kids don’t climb trees anymore. So that would be my advice to you, enjoy football and climb trees.”
Keane, from Co Cork, was famous for his unbreakable will to win which saw him pick up several major honours with Manchester United and captain his country. He is still considered one of the Premier League’s best ever players.