Navan's clash this Saturday with Dolphin at Balreask Old promises to be a special one for Bryan McKeever - win or lose.
The game will mark McKeever's 100 senior appearance for Navan RFC. Affectionately known to all as 'Big Mac' McKeever has turned out to be integral member of the Navan team that has gained successive promotions in recent years.
"Bryan has been a stalwart for Navan RFC teams since he started his playing days at u-16s with Leo Finlay as his coaching mentor," pointed out Navan RFC's Director of Rugby John McEntagart.
"Since then Bryan has served his club at all under-age levels and has represented Leinster Youths at u-17 and u-19 levels. He's a natural in the back row, with a soft hand and a great ability to read the game.
"While studying in DIT Bryan joined Lansdowne playing u-20s for three years and senior panel for a further two years while Navan continued to find their feet in Division 2C. He was delighted to be able to return to Navan for the 2012 season under head coach Leon Jordan."
Nothing has given McKeever more satisfaction in his rugby career than captaining Navan in the back-to-back promotions in the last two seasons.
“It’s been absolutely massive for me personally to have been captain of Navan. We have developed a nice playing style and It’s been brilliant the way the young lads have come in through youths and u-20s and we have continued to develop our skills under Alan (Kingsley)and Dara (Fallon) and now with Ray (Moloney) and James,” the player himself added.
“I started out a young man playing rugby here with my friends supported by Dad and Mum ( Declan and Siobhan) and now I have my own family Aoife and Chloe on the sidelines roaring me on. With the last two games of the season, we are still in the hunt for play-off again this season which I can’t wait for."
Working as a Mechanical Engineering manager with Cobec Engineering, a long-standing Navan RFC sponsor headed up by former coach and Director of Rugby Des O’Brien, McKeever says he has learned many lessons on and off the pitch through his involvement with rugby.
"It’s all about people! I have been really lucky to be around a great bunch of lads in the squad and I want to thank them for their hard work over the last few years. Also to the executive and all the volunteers that do tireless work around the club. We have a great club here and that is down to all the people in it," he said.
McKeever also has the unique distinction on having played in all four divisions in the AIL with his ability to cross the gainline and carry ball into opposition territory one of the main features of his game.
"Congratulations Bryan on your 100th Cap for Navan RFC. You have been a fantastic servant and ambassador for the club and we hope to see you continue to wear the jersey for some time to come," added McEntagart no doubt echoing the views of everybody at the Balreask Old based club.