Mullingar’s Keena set for return to Scottish football

Mullingar native Aidan Keena is set to leave English National League side Hartlepool United for a move back to Scotland, with Scottish League One side Falkirk the favourites to win his signature.

The Mullingar Athletic alumnus made a senior breakthrough at Edinburgh-based SPL side Hearts after fruitful loan spells at Queen’s Park and Dunfermline, scoring for the Jambos in a Scottish Cup match and earning a call-up to the Republic of Ireland U21 squad last year.

Earlier this year, Keena (21) moved to promotion seekers Hartlepool and made an immediate impact, before his season was cut short due to the Covid-19 coronavirus outbreak.

Now, in an interview with the Hartlepool Mail on Monday, ‘Pools’ boss Dave Challinor appeared to signal the end of Keena’s brief stay at Victoria Park.

The former Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar student, who is set to become a dad for the first time in October, is expected to leave on a free transfer. A number of Scottish clubs are understood to have coveted his signature, with Falkirk the odds-on favourites to sign the striker.

Falkirk had by far the best attack and defence in League One in 2020, but were pipped to promotion by Raith Rovers, who were a point ahead of the Bairns when Covid-19 brought the league to a halt.

Controversially, the Scottish FA allowed Raith to progress to the Championship, but Falkirk – now in the hunt for a new striker after the departure of top scorer Declan McManus – stayed put in League One.

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