Dunboyne man Keeley targets success with Ballymena
Dunboyne man Conor Keeley this week finalised a move to the Irish League with Ballymena Utd after a four-year stint with Cabinteely in the League of Ireland First Division.
It marked a memorable week in the Keeley household after younger brother and goalkeeper Josh yesterday signed his first professional deal with St Patrick's Athletic.
However, 23-year-old centre-back Conor has signed a two-and-a-half year deal with the Antrim club currently in fourth place in the NIPL with action set to resume later this month subject to easing of Covid-19 restrictions
At 6ft 5” Keeley is a formidable centre-half who has also tasted GAA success with his local club, Dunboyne, where he helped the minor team to a league and championship double and he also played for Meath at minor level.
He scored 2-4 in the MFL Div 1 final win over Summerhill in 2014 (click on link for report on that game)
The former St Peter's Collge, Dunboyne student completed his education at Griffith College from where he recently graduated with a BA Hons degree in Business.
Apart from playing for his local GAA club he also lined out for Dunboyne FC, had a stint with Shelbourne and then moved to Cabinteely where he completed his fourth season at the end of October.
In the final game of the season the Dublin side lost to Tim Clancy's title-chasing Drogheda Utd as the Louth men secured automatic promotion with a 2-0 victory.
Conor made some 100 appearances between Cabinteely (2017 - 2020) and Shelbourne (2014-2016).
He played for Shelbourne's u-19s for the 2014/15 season and stayed with them for the 2015 and 2016 seasons.
He was called up to the senior squad midway through the 2015 season and was on the bench four times before making his debut in the last match of the 2015 First Division season as he started the 2-0 win over Cobh Ramblers.
In 2016 Conor made a further 10 league appearances for Shels and at the end of that season he left Tolka Park to sign for Pat Devlin at Cabinteely.
Conor was also selected for the World Universities Cup finals in Italy, but was not released by his club that was heavily involved in the play-offs, but he made his international debut for the Irish university team in a 2-1 win over France
He also won a u-13 SFAI Cup medal, a feat that was emulated by his younger brother Josh five years ago.
Conor can also play between the posts, goalkeeping seems to run in the family as his father Brendan played in that position in the Irish League for Newry while younger brother Josh is now rated a highly-talented goalkeeper.