Irish striker Aidan Keena reveals why he left Hearts for Hartlepool United
News on the latest departure from Riccarton
Hearts striker Aidan Keena has joined Harlepool United in a permanent move after being told he was free to leave the Edinburgh club.
The 20-year-old Irishman wanted more first-team game time and has headed to England's National League in an effort to find it.
The Hartlepool manager Davie Challinor was monitoring Keena for some time and has now agreed a deal to take him to Victoria Park after two and a half years in Scotland.
“I haven’t had the best season so far, not playing much so hopefully I can hit the ground running on Saturday if the clearance goes through in time," the player told the Hartlepool website.
“I was told by Hearts the other day that I’m free to find a new club if I want which is a bit gutting to hear. I got a few offers then a club like this comes and I was happy to get it done quickly.
“I was getting a bit of game time under the previous manager but the new one [Daniel Stendel] has come in and he’s obviously got players that he likes and if he needs to make room to bring in the players he wants then there’s not much you can do about it."
Keena is confident of scoring goals for his new team. "Everywhere I’ve went before I’ve scored goals so that’s what I’m here to do,” he added. “You don’t sign a striker just to play. You want him to score goals so hopefully that’s what I’m going to do here.
“I think I can definitely add to [the team], I’m looking forward to hopefully playing on Saturday and if we get a win there then we’re creeping up again.
“Hopefully I can kick-on, that’s what anyone who gets a move wants to do and see how well they can do. You have to have self-belief. If you’re not going to believe in yourself then you may as well pack it in and do something else but I definitely feel like I can come and do well here.”
The forward joined Hearts from the Irish club St Patrick's Athletic in 2017 and was loaned to Queen's Park and Dunfermline as a teenager.
He made 17 senior appearances in maroon and scored one goal but was unable to cement a regular first-team place.
He leaves Hearts following Glenn Whelan's departure earlier this week, with manager Daniel Stendel keen to sign a new striker this month.