Aidan Keena is on the move.

Keena says he couldn't turn down EFL League One move

Aidan Keena says that signing for EFL League One side Cheltenham Town was an opportunity that he couldn’t turn down.

According to reports in the UK media, Cheltenham Town have paid a club record fee to Sligo Rovers to secure the services of the 23-year-old Mullingar native, who finished last season as the top scorer in the League of Ireland.

Speaking to the Westmeath Examiner at the weekend, Keena said that it was a tough decision to leave Sligo.

“I loved it here but it’s an opportunity that I couldn’t turn down.

“We have Bolton away this weekend – I remember watching them in the Premier League, and the likes of Ipswich, Portsmouth and Sheffield Wednesday are all big clubs.”

Cheltenham are currently sitting in 18th place in League One, four points and three places above the relegation zone.

Keena says that he’s eager to get settled and to start helping his new club make their way up the table.

“Hopefully I can help them out with that. I want to get in, work hard in training and get up to speed as quick as possible.”

Keena joined Sligo from Scottish League One side Falkirk. He’s also had spells with Hearts and Hartlepool and spent periods on loan to Queen’s Park and Dunfermline Athletic.

He believes that he is returning to the UK a better player.

“On and off the pitch I’m more mature. I’m a bit older and I’m looking forward to going over with a different mindset.”

Sligo Rovers issued a short statement on their Facebook page on Sunday confirming that Keena was moving to Cheltenham for an undisclosed fee “plus substantial add-on payments”.

“Keena joined the Bit O’ Red on a free transfer just over 12 months ago and had a magnificent season in 2022, scoring 21 competitive goals and finishing as top goalscorer in The League of Ireland Premier Division.

“The striker quickly became a fan’s favourite and leaves the club with our best wishes for the future, having captured the hearts of everyone at the club with his hard work and his goal scoring contributions,” Sligo Rovers said.

Cheltenham Town’s director of football, Micky Moore, said the club are delighted to have secured Keena’s services on a three-year contract from Sligo.

“Aidan was our number one target of the window. I know the window has been frustrating from the outside, but we’ve worked really hard to fight off a lot of competition, and I’m really happy we’ve been able to sign Aidan for Cheltenham.”