Keith Keane

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Keith Keane
Keith Keane 24-09-11 1.png
Keane playing for Luton Town in 2011
Personal information
Full name Keith Francis Keane[1]
Date of birth (1986-11-20) 20 November 1986 (age 27)[1]
Place of birth Luton, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[1]
Playing position Defender / Midfielder
Club information
Current team
Preston North End
Number 2
Youth career
1995–2003 Luton Town
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2003–2012 Luton Town 237 (7)
2012– Preston North End 56 (2)
National team
2004 Republic of Ireland U19 2 (0)
2005–2007 Republic of Ireland U21 4 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 19 October 2013.
† Appearances (Goals).

Keith Francis Keane (born 20 November 1986) is a footballer who plays for Preston North End as either a defender or midfielder. He is a former academy player who graduated from the youth ranks at Luton Town. A versatile footballer, Keane played in every position for Luton other than in goal or as a striker, and played for the club across four different divisions.

Career[edit]

Luton Town[edit]

Born in Luton, Bedfordshire,[1] Keane made his debut for Luton Town under manager Mike Newell at the age of 16, in a Football League Trophy victory against Rushden & Diamonds early in the 2003–04 season.[2] Keane played well and stayed in the side for a further 16 games that season, his league debut coming in a 0–0 draw at Wycombe Wanderers in February 2004.[3] Newell predominantly played Keane at right-back as cover for Kevin Foley, but he also featured in midfield. He was called up to play for the Republic of Ireland under-19 side in February 2004.[4] Keane scored his first goal for Luton on 17 April 2004 as a last minute winner in a 3–2 victory over Bristol City.[5]

During the 2004–05 season, Keane became a regular squad member. Appearing at centre-back, full-back and in midfield, he made 19 appearances in all competitions. Luton went on to win League One that season with a massive 98 points, rewarding Keane with a winner's medal.

The next season started with Keane as a Championship player, and as a Republic of Ireland under-21 international after making his debut against Cyprus, joining Foley in the side.[6] Utilised at right-back, left-back, in central defence and in right midfield during the course of the 2005–06 campaign, Keane's ability to play in numerous positions saw him make 12 appearances, scoring once. He was awarded the Young Player of the Year award that season for his performances, and was rewarded with a new two-year contract.[7]

In the 2006–07 season, Keane made 19 league appearances, scoring one goal, as Luton were relegated to League One. He was called up to the Republic of Ireland under-21 team for their games against Sweden and England in November 2007.[8]

The next season, after Newell's departure, Keane was frozen out of the first team by new manager Kevin Blackwell, who preferred to play his own new signing Richard Jackson. However, Keane was eventually brought back into the team to replace Jackson, and later made the position his own when Luton Town fan favourite Mick Harford replaced Blackwell as manager in January 2008. Harford made Keane club captain, but the price of administration condemned Luton to another relegation, this time to League Two. Keane won the Supporters' Player of the Year award at the end of the season, as well as the Players' Player of the Year and Internet Player of the Season award.[9]

Luton were docked 30 points for financial irregularities at the beginning of the 2008–09 season, and although Keane made 40 league appearances (primarily in midfield), he could not prevent the inevitable as Luton were relegated from The Football League for the first time in 89 years. Some solace could be found as Luton beat Scunthorpe United 3–2 in the Football League Trophy final at Wembley, with Keane producing a superb performance in midfield.[10] His displays earned Keane the Supporters' Player of the Year and Internet Player of the Season awards for the second year in a row.[11]

Keane playing for Luton Town in 2011

On 15 January 2010, Keane was placed on the transfer list at Luton. His refusal to sign a new contract, which would expire in June 2010 and effectively mean he would leave the club on a free transfer, was cited as the reason.[12] However, the January transfer window closed with no bids for the player received. Then-Luton manager Richard Money stated the club was in negotiations with Keane over a new contract regardless of his transfer status, calling him a "talisman" to Luton.[13] On 9 February 2010, Keane scored direct from a corner kick in the last minute of the game, his first goal in over two years, to earn Luton a dramatic 2–1 win against then-league leaders Oxford United. He was subsequently shown a red card for a second bookable offence after celebrating the goal with the Luton fans.[14] This goal later won Luton Town's Goal of the Season award as voted for by fans.[15]

Keane dismissed any speculation as to his Luton future by signing a new two-year contract with the club on 9 June 2010.[16] Keane played the full 120 minutes of the Conference play-off final against AFC Wimbledon in May 2011; a game that saw Luton miss out on a return to the Football League by losing the penalty shootout.[17]

League One side Stevenage, then managed by Graham Westley, made two bids for Keane in August 2011, though both were rejected.[18] Defensive injuries meant Keane was moved back into defence at the beginning of the 2011–12 season, with two performances described by manager Gary Brabin as "outstanding".[19] Keane went on to make 42 appearances on what turned out to be his final season at Kenilworth Road.

Preston North End[edit]

On 7 June 2012, it was announced that he was to join League One side Preston North End, then managed by Graham Westley, once his Luton contract had finished.[20]

Keane scored his first goal for the club on Good Friday 2013 in a 1–1 home draw with Portsmouth. He intercepted an attempted clearance before volleying home from the edge of the 18-yard box. On 17 December 2013, Keane extended his contract with Preston for a further twelve months, thus keeping him at the club until the summer of 2015.[21]

Honours[edit]

Luton Town

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Mainstream Publishing. p. 230. ISBN 9781845964740. 
  2. ^ "Match report: Rushden 1–2 Luton". Luton Town F.C. 4 November 2003. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  3. ^ "Match report: Wycombe 0–0 Luton". Luton Town F.C. 14 February 2004. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  4. ^ "Irish U-19 squad named". BreakingNews.ie. 14 February 2004. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  5. ^ "Luton Town 3–2 Bristol City". BBC Sport. 17 April 2004. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  6. ^ "Cyprus U21 1–1 Rep of Ireland U21". BBC Sport. 7 October 2005. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  7. ^ "Luton offer fresh deals to pair". BBC Sport. 7 April 2006. Retrieved 20 November 2009. 
  8. ^ "Givens announces squads for U21 double-header". Football Association of Ireland. 30 September 2007. Retrieved 12 November 2009. 
  9. ^ "Keane claims Player of the year award". Luton Town F.C. 6 May 2008. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  10. ^ Swann, Alec (5 April 2009). "How the Hatters rated". Luton Today. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  11. ^ Wood, Mark (28 April 2009). "King Keane rules awards roost". Luton Today. Retrieved 29 April 2009. 
  12. ^ "Money mindful of Salisbury threat". Luton Town F.C. 15 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  13. ^ "Hatters hierarchy Keane to tie Keith to fresh contract". Luton Today. 19 January 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  14. ^ "Luton Town 2–1 Oxford United". BBC Sport. 9 February 2010. Retrieved 11 February 2010. 
  15. ^ "Awards a plenty for Pilks". Luton Town F.C. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 30 April 2010. 
  16. ^ "Keane pens two-year deal". Luton Town F.C. 9 June 2010. Retrieved 10 June 2010. 
  17. ^ "AFC Wimbledon 0–0 Luton Town (4–3 on pens)". BBC Sport. 21 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011. 
  18. ^ "Stevenage bid for Keane rejected". Stevenage F.C. 27 August 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  19. ^ "Thoroughly Deserved". Luton Town F.C. 10 September 2011. Retrieved 12 September 2011. 
  20. ^ "Preston North End sign Luton Town's Keith Keane". BBC Sport. 7 June 2012. Retrieved 9 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "PNE Extend Nine Players’ Contracts". Preston North End Official Website. 7 December 2013. Retrieved 7 December 2013. 

External links[edit]