Moving home from Scotland is working out for Aidan Keena with Sligo on the rise

While it was a gamble for former Ireland U-21 striker Aidan Keena to give up his cross-channel dream gone awry, it is paying off as the move to Sligo puts him back in the spotlight.

As an understudy to Premier League man Adam Idah – Keena’s two U-21 games in Ireland came as a substitute for the Norwich player – the 23-year-old native of Westmeather had somehow ended up in Scotland’s third tier and out of favor at Falkirk like .

But an offer from his former Pat manager Liam Buckley to join Sligo earlier this season caught on and Keena has delivered – his tally of five goals in six games earned him the SSE Airtricity’s March Player of the Month award a football authors Ireland.

“I wanted to leave Falkirk. Things really slowed down for me and I just wanted something new,” he says, admitting that the decision to come home five years after leaving Pat’s for Hearts was not an easy one.

“I wasn’t sure where to go, and then to the gaffer [Buckley] called me and made my decision. Knowing what he wanted to do and where he wanted to take the club, it was definitely something I wanted to get on board with. The fact that there’s European football this season and that it’s a club that’s challenging at the top of the league is something I want to endorse.

“So much has happened at Falkirk that luckily they let me go as long as I wasn’t in the same league; The manager didn’t like me at all all season. I can’t say anything bad about Falkirk, they’re a good club. But I just need something new.”

Expectations for Sligo this season were low after key players Johnny Kenny and John Mahon lost to Scottish clubs in the winter, but after Sligo opened the season with a 2-1 win at St champions (Shamrock Rovers) and leaders (Derry City ), suggesting that the lack of chatter and pressure has served the Bit O’Red well.

“I think the gaffer has a good eye for a player. I think he would have been confident that he would replace her. Maybe it took him a while for that and people got scared or whatever but you can see he brought Nando Pijnaker who flies and there are a couple of boys he gave a chance who fly”, says Keena, his side at home against Shelbourne tonight.

Shels head to Sligo after last week’s 3-0 home defeat by Finn Harps hit morale. “It was disappointing because it didn’t reflect how we train, but I’m sure it was just an outlier, and sometimes these results act as a wake-up call,” says Shels manager Damien Duff. Moving home from Scotland is working out for Aidan Keena with Sligo on the rise

Fry Electronics Team

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