Former Saints striker Aidan Keena joins Hartlepool United from Hearts

Fri, Jan 10 2020

Keena shoots past Bluebell United keeper Andy McNulty during a pre-season friendly in 2017. Credit: Laszlo Geczo (ETPhotos)

Hartlepool United have completed the signing of former St Patrick’s Athletic forward Aidan Keena from Scottish Premiership outfit Heart of Midlothian.

The 20-year-old, who has been capped at under 21 level by the Republic of Ireland joined Hearts from the Saints in 2018.

The Ireland under-21 international gained playing time at senior level during his time at Tynecastle and also during loan spells with Queens Park and Dunfermline respectively.

Keena hasn’t been able to hold down a starting position at a club and that’s something he will be hoping to change with this move to Victoria Park.

It’s believed that United boss Dave Challinor had been interested in Keena for a period of time and upon being made available, Challinor managed to get his man.

“He’s a player who come highly recommended,” Challinor told the club’s official website.

“Aidan is a young lad who has been up in Scotland but he is really keen to prove himself in England now and keep progressing in his career.

“I spoke to Jon Daly who worked with him in the youth set-up and the first team at Hearts and he spoke very highly of him in terms of his attitude and his ability.

“He’s got great self-belief and is always looking to get shots on goal at every opportunity in and around the penalty area.

“I’ve said before that we have to keep our supporters in the game, especially at home, and there’s no better way of doing that than by a players backing themselves, having shots and scoring goals.

“Obviously he’s a bit of an unknown quantity with the league he’s coming in to with us now but we’re really confident he can have a positive impact.

“We’re really looking forward to working with him because we think we can improve him and he’s the type of lad who really wants to improve as well.”

United are set to travel to take on Dover Athletic in the National League on Saturday, however it’s not yet known if Keena will feature as they await international clearance to come through for their new number 35.