James McKeown

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James McKeown
James McKeown 15-10-11.png
McKeown playing for Grimsby Town in 2011
Personal information
Full name James Karl McKeown[1]
Date of birth (1989-07-24) 24 July 1989 (age 29)[2]
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 6 ft 1 in (1.85 m)[3]
Playing position Goalkeeper
Club information
Current team
Grimsby Town
Number 1
Youth career
1998–2000 Coventry City
2005–2007 Walsall
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2007–2011 Peterborough United 6 (0)
2007Kettering Town (loan) 2 (0)
2007Worcester City (loan) 1 (0)
2010–2011Boston United (loan) 17 (0)
2011 RKSV Leonidas 5 (0)
2011– Grimsby Town 305 (0)
National team
2007–2008 Republic of Ireland U19 2 (0)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 03:04, 22 August 2018 (UTC)
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 03:04, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

James Karl McKeown (born 24 July 1989) is a professional footballer who plays as a goalkeeper for League Two club Grimsby Town.

Born in Birmingham, McKeown began his career aged 15 with Coventry City and Walsall youth teams, but was unable to establish himself and departed two years later. He then joined Peterborough United; he spent time on loan with Kettering Town and Worcester City in 2007 prior to breaking into the Peterborough first team in 2008, however, his appearances where limited during his time there. McKeown was then loaned to Conference North side Boston United during the 2010–11 season where he made a total of 14 clean sheets in 18 games.

A sixth-month stint at Dutch semi-professional outfit RKSV Leonidas had led to a trial with Eredivisie side Willem II, however, his previous managers at Boston signed him for Grimsby Town; he was ever present in the starting XI and five years on helped Grimsby to win promotion out of the National League in 2015–16. McKeown has represented the Republic of Ireland at under-19 level.

Career[edit]

McKeown started his career with Coventry City as an Under-10 striker in their youth system, he went on trial in goal and spent two years in their Under-11s before being released.[4] He eventually moved on to Walsall in their Under-15s setup, but failed to make a first team appearances before his departure in 2007.[4][5]

Peterborough United[edit]

McKeown was signed by Peterborough United. He joined Conference North team Kettering Town on loan in August 2007[6] and made just one game on loan for Worcester City in October,[7] in a 0–5 defeat against Hucknall Town, after being brought in on a month's loan as cover for Danny McDonnell.[8]

On 9 February 2008 Mckeown made his first appearance for Peterborough United in League Two, coming on as a 76th-minute substitute for the injured Joe Lewis who was stretchered off following a nasty aerial collision.[9] Mckeown signed a two-and-a-half year contract extension on 16 March 2009.[10] The following season in League One he made one appearance on 2 May 2009 where he came off the bench in the 77th minute as Joe Lewis made way in the 2–2 draw with Swindon Town.[11] Mckeown was sent out to train with Manchester United for a week in October 2009 to receive specialist coaching.[12]

During his time at Peterborough United he gained back to back promotions in the 2007–08[13] and 2008–09[14] seasons with the posh although McKeown was to make just four appearances in the Championship.[15][16][17][18] His last appearance for the Posh was in the final game of the season though despite a 0–1 defeat against Blackpool he was named man of the match, during the game his best save was leaping spectacularly to keep out DJ Campbell's sharp overhead kick at close range though he saw the same player spring from the ground to head in the rebound.[19]

Loan to Boston United

Mckeown joined Boston United in August 2010 on loan until January 2011.[20][21] He played a key role in Boston's excellent start to the season with 10 successive league clean sheets[22] and had a total of 14 clean sheets in 18 games.[23] On New Year's Day he played his last game and received a fantastic reception and farewell from the Boston United supporters.[24] However, despite his remarkable record of clean sheets and fantastic form whilst on loan at Boston Peterborough United came to an agreement with James that he should seek pastures new.[25] McKeown spent a week at Lincoln City on trial[26] and a one-off appearance for Boston United in the FA Trophy due to their keeper Dan Haystead being cup tied,[27] he then signed for Dutch Rotterdam based semi-professional side RKSV Leonidas in the Hoofdklasse league.[4]

Grimsby Town[edit]

2011–12 season[edit]

On Friday 23 June 2011 Grimsby Town announced they were in discussions to sign McKeown,[28] following the club's announcement to bring in a second choice keeper to challenge number one Kenny Arthur after Town had heavily relied upon Goalkeeping Coach Steve Croudson in the previous season.[29] On 2 July 2011 he signed a one-year contract with Town.[30] McKeown played in the final of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on 3 August 2011, beating Lincoln City 4–3 to win the cup at Sincil Bank.[31]

McKeown was initially brought to the club as a back up keeper to challenge Kenny Arthur, but following an impressive pre-season he became the club's first choice keeper. He made his league debut for Grimsby Town on 13 August 2011 in the 0–2 defeat against Fleetwood.[32] A week later he saved what became a crucial penalty against Newport taken by Craig McAllister to earn his side a 0–0 draw.[33][34] During the 2011–12 campaign McKeown picked up 3 yellow cards, each for time wasting.[35][36][37] McKeown was also ever-present during the 2011–12 season helping Grimsby Town produce 18 clean sheets in 55 games.[38] On 24 April 2012 McKeown picked up four awards for Player of the Year at the club's annual presentation.[39] On 30 April 2012 McKeown agreed to a new two-year contract with the club.[40][41]

2012–13 season[edit]

McKeown played in the final of the Lincolnshire Senior Cup on 31 July 2012, after the game finishing 1–1 at full-time, McKeown saved a penalty inturn beating Lincoln City in a penalty shoot-out to win the cup at Sincil Bank for a second consecutive year.[42]

2013–14 season[edit]

McKeown retained the Supporters Player of the Season award when he scooped the prize again once more for his part during the 2013–14 season.[43] A host of clubs were believed to be chasing his signature, however on 16 May 2014, McKeown agreed a new two-year contract with the club.[44]

2014–15 season[edit]

On 16 August 2014, McKeown saved a crucial last-minute penalty, the game finishing 1–1, preventing Dover winning the game.[45] He played in all the league games of the 2014–15 season as Grimsby came 3rd in the Conference, and secured a play-off spot.[46] He also played in the 2015 Conference Premier play-off Final against Bristol Rovers at Wembley on 17 May 2015; following a 1–1 draw after extra time, Grimsby lost 5–3 in a penalty shoot-out.[47]

McKeown picked up the Reusch Goalkeeper of the Year 2014–15 award on 20 May 2015, at The Non-League Paper's National Game Awards in association with The NLFA, for keeping 23 clean sheets himself.[48]

2015–16 season[edit]

As training was in full swing for the 2015–16 season, McKeown was admitted to hospital on 18 July 2015 and diagnosed as suffering with viral meningitis.[49][50] Four days later, he finished his treatment and was released from hospital.[51] McKeown was able to return to light training by 24 July 2016.[52] Having already secured a play-off spot in the last home game against Chester,[53] McKeown missed only the last game of the 2015–16 season as Paul Hurst's "Mariners" came 4th in the National League.[54] McKeown played in Grimsby's 3–1 victory over Forest Green Rovers in the 2016 National League play-off Final at Wembley, seeing Grimsby promoted to League Two after a six-year absence from the Football League.[55][56]

His efforts over the season earned him a place in the 2015–16 National League team of the year, alongside the league's outstanding players.[57] McKeown signed a new two-year contract, that will keep him at the club until the summer of 2018.[58]

2016–17 season[edit]

McKeown made his League Two debut with the club on 6 August 2016 in the opening game of the 2016–17 season in Grimsby's 2–0 home victory against Morecambe.[59] After losing the number 1 spot to Manchester United loanee Dean Henderson on 28 January 2017 McKeown confirmed he had handed in his transfer request.[60]

McKeown made numerous saves in the final game of the 2016–17 season at home to League Two leaders Plymouth Argyle, which finished 1–1 and prevented them from becoming champions;[61] the performance lead to McKeown being named in the English Football League Team of the Week for the month of May 2017.[62]

2017–18 season[edit]

You would have to say we deserved to win the game, apart from a world class display by their goalkeeper, we would have won.

Neil Aspin in 2018.[63]

On 26 December 2017, McKeown suffered an injury in the 33rd minute of the 1–1 stalemate against Mansfield Town and was replaced by Ben Killip.[64] Scans revealed a ruptured groin and he would be missing for between six and eight weeks.[65] McKeown made his comeback on 17 February 2018 in a 3–1 defeat at Cambridge United[66] Grimsby were in relegation trouble when they came up against Port Vale at Blundell Park on 10 March 2018, McKeown saved a penalty by Michael Tonge and a one-handed stop from Anton Forrester ensuring the game finished in a 1–1 draw, Vale manager Neil Aspin hailed McKeown’s performance as world class.[67] McKeown won the Player of the Season for a third time in his career for his contribution in the 2017–18 season.[68]

He signed a new three-year contract with Grimsby at the end of the 2017–18 season.[69]

International career[edit]

Mckeown has been capped at under 19s with the Republic of Ireland U19[70] and was selected in the 2009-2010 squad for the European championships for the Republic of Ireland U21[71] on the substitute bench in November 2009 against Georgia[72] and Armenia.[73]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 21 August 2018
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Kettering Town (loan) 2007–08[74] Conference North 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Total 2 0 0 0 0 0 2 0
Worcester City (loan) 2007–08[74] Conference North 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Total 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
Peterborough United 2007–08[75] League Two 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0
2008–09[76] League One 1 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 2 0
2009–10[77] Championship 4 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Total 6 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 7 0
Boston United (loan) 2010–11[23] Conference North 17 0 0 0 2[a] 0 19 0
Total 17 0 0 0 2 0 19 0
Grimsby Town 2011–12[23] Conference Premier 46 0 5 0 4[a] 0 55 0
2012–13[23] Conference Premier 43 0 1 0 9[b] 0 53 0
2013–14[23] Conference Premier 45 0 5 0 8[c] 0 58 0
2014–15[23] Conference Premier 46 0 2 0 6[d] 0 54 0
2015–16[23] National League 45 0 4 0 11[e] 0 60 0
2016–17[78] League Two 39 0 1 0 1 0 2[f] 0 43 0
2017–18[79] League Two 37 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 39 0
2018–19[80] League Two 4 0 0 0 0 0 1[f] 0 5 0
Total 305 0 19 0 2 0 41 0 367 0
Career total 331 0 19 0 3 0 43 0 396 0
  1. ^ a b Appearances in FA Trophy
  2. ^ Seven appearances in the FA Trophy, two appearances in the Conference Premier play-offs
  3. ^ Six appearances in the FA Trophy, two appearances in the Conference Premier play-offs
  4. ^ Three appearances in the FA Trophy, three appearances in the Conference Premier play-offs
  5. ^ Eight appearances in the FA Trophy, three appearances in the National League play-offs
  6. ^ a b Appearance(s) in EFL Trophy

Honours[edit]

Club[edit]

Peterborough United

Grimsby Town

Individual[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]