Sunday 17 December 2017

Niall's delight at Royals debut


NEW Ireland recruit Niall Keown is in dreamland after finally getting his first-team debut with Reading, writes Aidan Fitzmaurice.

The 19-year-old came off the bench for the Royals during their 2-1 win over Brighton on Tuesday, completing a great day for the defender as just hours earlier he had been named in the Ireland U21 squad for the first time, for a Euro qualifier at home to Andorra (March 26th).

"I've been dreaming of that since I got here four years ago," says Keown of his debut under boss Steve Clarke.

"I've been waiting a long time for that so you've got to enjoy the opportunity when it comes. You've got to love it when you go out there. You've got to keep calm and enjoy the moment."

"I found out I was in the squad the day before and then they let us know the team just before the game. In the last few minutes the gaffer said to me 'I want you to go on and sit in front of the back four', so I was very happy to go on and do that and help us see out the game," added Keown, son of former Arsenal and England man Martin.

"It was obviously a special moment for me but more importantly we got the win as well. We knew it was such an important game. We need to get as many points as we can between now and the end of the season. So the lads were very happy we managed to pick up three."

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