Sligo Rovers have completed the signing of Aidan Keena from Falkirk.
The move reunites the striker with his former St. Patrick's Athletic boss, Liam Buckley.
Keena left the Saints for Hearts four-and-a-half years ago, but things in Edinburgh never really took off leading to loans at Queens Park and Dunfermline.
The Westmeath native spent seven months at Hartlepool, before pitching up at Falkirk in August of 2020.
Keena says Buckley was a decisive factor in him moving back to Ireland. "When the interest came I had worked with Liam Buckley before at St Patrick’s Athletic and I saw it as a good opportunity to come back to a good league and a good club," he said.
"Most of the lads I played with at Under-19 level before I left are playing in the league now so that’s good to come back and see that.
“I’m here to score goals, that’s why the club brought me in so I’ll try to score as many as I can and play well and try to get as high up in the table as we can.
“The lads are in pre-season but I like to think I’m fit enough now. I’m halfway through the season. I will look to hit the ground running. I did have a couple of other options in Ireland but they didn’t have European football with them. That was a difference.
“The other factor was I know how Liam Buckley sets up and plays football from working under him before."
Keena is hoping to fire Sligo into Europe this year, saying, "It’s third and fourth in the league the last two seasons so you don’t look down. You want to stay up there and go higher and try to challenge for it. We’re not far off it. I think a lot of clubs will be looking to have a go at it this season.
“I want to score goals, the more I can score the better the team will do. If I can do that the team will be up there.”
Buckley added, "Aidan will bring a lot to the group. As well as an ability to score goals he is an extremely hard worker and a good presence.
“He’s a smashing guy and comes to us at a very good time for both parties. He has been on short-term loans which are never easy and shown he can score and do well for a team. Defenders will find it difficult against him and we’ll give him the platform to show what he’s about.
“Since he left St Pat’s I watched his progress and he feels it’s a good time to come to Ireland and play. I’m delighted to bring him here.
“Aidan has been playing matches in Scotland as they are mid-season, he scored in back-to-back games over Christmas so we’ll do our best to make sure he settles in well and he’ll be available to us in the upcoming friendly matches.”
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