Mullingar’s Aidan Keena started 2018 with a memorable goal for Scottish Division 1 side Queen’s Park – and late in the year, he’s at it again, this time in a higher division.
With the vanguard at his permanent club Hearts crowded for the interim, Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar student Keena (19) moved on loan to Scottish Championship side Dunfermline Athletic in late August, along with fellow clubman, French midfielder Malaury Martin.
After recovering from an injury spell, Keena burst onto the scene for The Pars last night, scoring both goals in a 2-2 Championship draw with Inverness Caledonian Thistle.
Keena gave Allan Johnston’s charges the lead after 10 minutes with a fine strike into the bottom corner from the left hand side of the box, before Inverness equalised ten minutes later.
The former Mullingar Athletic, Shelbourne and St Patrick’s Athletic striker then restored the visitors’ advantage on 29 minutes, composing himself outside the area before despatching a right-footed bullet into the top right-hand corner of the Caley Thistle net.
It’s not the first time Keena’s gifted right foot has made the headlines in this year. In January, while on loan at Queen’s Park, the teenager lobbed Alloa ‘keeper Neil Parry from 40 yards. The audacious strike was shortlisted for Scottish goal of the year.
Keena – who has been capped for the Republic of Ireland from U17 to U19 level – went on to score eight goals in 12 league games for Alloa, and continued to bang in the goals for Hearts’ U20s.
After making his senior debut for the Jam Tarts last season, he was expected to figure in Craig Levein’s side this season after the sale of Kyle Lafferty to Rangers.
However, Levein – whose Hearts side currently sit top of the SPL, six points ahead of champions Celtic – signed both Steven Naismith and Steven McLean, and opted to let Keena go on loan again.
If the Mullingar man continues to produce the form he’s displayed in only his second game for Dunfermline, then the former Scotland boss will surely be keen to have him back at Tynecastle.