A combative and versatile player, Keith Keane enjoyed two spells with us after first joining on loan in March 2015 from Preston North End. At that point in time, Graham Westley was leading our charge for the playoffs and saw the defender/midfielder as the ideal addition. It wasn’t the first time that he’d tried to sign him either.
Born in Luton, Keane joined his hometown club as a youngster and made his Hatters bow aged 16 in the Football League Trophy. His impact was immediate and ensured he would make further appearances in League One. Just two seasons later, he’d be playing as high as the Championship and for Ireland U21s.
In spite of the money worries that affected Luton, Keane stayed put. It meant that he’d go from the second tier to the fifth in a short space of time. After our double promotion up to League One, we went in with two bids for Keane’s services. Both, as history now records, were turned down by the Hatters.
A year later and Keane was on his way, however; Graham Westley getting his man, even though it was the lure of League One football at Preston that did it. Keane stayed up there after GW got the boot from Deepdale, but his first team opportunities were on the wane. It first gave Crawley the chance to go in and make use of his talents, before we did likewise in spring 2015.