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Player of the Year Keeva Keenan: “It’s a great environment to be in”

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Keeva Keenan

After being crowned Player of the Year in front of a room full of people at Celtic’s glitzy 2018/19 awards ceremony in Glasgow, defender Keeva Keenan says she is delighted to have been recognised by her team and stated Celtic is a club she can continue to flourish at.

Explaining that the environment is one players can thrive in, Keenan insisted anyone could have taken the gong home on the night but was thrilled nonetheless.

She said: “I wasn’t expecting it at all - it came as a huge shock on the night.

“Obviously, I know who I voted for and I was expecting it to be a couple of other players because there has been many stand-out players for us, but I’m absolutely delighted that it ended up being me,” Keenan told.

"I wasn’t expecting to walk away with it, so it does make it that bit sweeter that the team think I was one of the better players. It’s good to know you can have that kind of influence on the team,” the Dubliner admitted.

The fullback’s worth is proven with her work-rate on and off the pitch. Starting every game under Eddie Wolecki Black, her ability and pace that allows her to advance up the pitch as well as being able to swoop in and shut down the danger has seen her teammates vote her player of the year.

The significance of the night wasn’t lost on the defender though among the emotions of being recognised by her teammates and being called up on stage. Joining Dion Dublin on stage, the 21-year-old explained she enjoyed the moment as best she could while trying not to be too overwhelmed.

“I was so nervous going on stage in front of all of the men. You’re aware of all their family and the massive Celtic fans sitting there watching you walk up on stage picking up an award and obviously I was trying to be aware of not falling and things. Having to chat to Dion Dublin while standing there on stage – I was terrified.

“I feel like because I was focussing quite a lot on it to make sure I didn’t screw up or doing anything too embarrassing I was concentrating quite a lot, so parts I remember quite clearly and others are a blur,” she said.

Keenan was awarded the honour at the first time of asking, picking it up after her first season with the club. But it has been in the recent months that she has seen that development in herself, sharing how the club is the perfect place for her to grow further.

“Lately I’ve noticed quite a lot that my game has gone further. When I look back to when I first signed for Celtic and even towards this time last year, I have noticed a change. I can see it in things like my confidence and I’m seeing myself do and try new things in games and training that I could never have seen myself trying before. I feel like you can slot into this team quite easily. The pressure isn’t off, but it’s an easier environment to play in.

“But it’s good having that confidence going into the games before the break, I’m really happy with it,” she added.

Celtic now play Spartans at home on Thursday, May 15 at K-Park, East Kilbride. KO: 7pm.


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