Jimmy Keohane hopes super cameo earns him Exeter City chance
Jimmy Keohane is hoping that his starring role as a second half substitute in the 3-1 Devon derby win over Plymouth Argyle will earn him a recall to the Exeter City starting XI.
The 22-year-old Irishman came on as a 74th-minute substitute against the Pilgrims with the scores level at 1-1. But Keohane provided the passes for Alan Gow and Scot Bennett to score and wrap up a memorable win for the Grecians.
Now, he is hoping it was enough to earn him a rare start as the Grecians return to action tomorrow with a League Two clash against Hartlepool United at St James’ Park.
“I came on as a substitute last year as well, but that was my first win on a Devon derby. It was a great feeling and a great atmosphere,” he said.
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“The manager wanted me to get close to Scoty [Bennett] and pick up second balls in midfield. It was a good game for me to come on in because they were quite open and the game opened up, which suited me.
“I was delighted to get on and I was pleased to do well and get three points. We weren’t great in derby games last year, but we have done quite well this year and been hard to beat and we were strong in that game.
“I enjoyed coming off the bench, but I am hoping to get in the team and do well because my aim is to come in and nail down a starting spot.”
Keohane’s appearance on Saturday was only his fifth of the season and four of those have been as a substitute. The former Bristol City youngster’s game is well suited to coming on against tiring defences, but he doesn’t want to earn himself the tag of a super-sub.
“It’s difficult because everyone is playing well and it’s tough to get in,” Keohane added. “But if I do get in, I have to do well and in the meantime, I have to do well when I come on off the bench and play well for the reserves.
“Hopefully I will get an opportunity soon and I will do well when I get in.”
Not only did Keohane catch the eye against the Pilgrims, but he did earlier last week against Torquay United when the Grecians’ Under-21 side thrashed their counterparts from Plainmoor 4-1 in the inaugural Premier League Under-21 Cup.
The rules of the competition allow clubs to field three players over the age of 21 and as one of those, Keohane excelled in the Grecians’ midfield alongside Matt Grimes and captain James Byrne.
City’s reward for winning that tie is a second round clash at Crystal Palace and Keohane is relishing the chance to pit his wits against Premier League opposition.
“It’s great because at reserve level, we play a lot of friendlies, but nothing that’s competitive,” he said. “So to have to the Under-21 Cup, it gives us something to look forward to and playing at Crystal Palace will be a great experience.
“It will also be good for a lot of the players in the reserves to test themselves against a Premier League Under-21 team and it gives us the chance to show what we can do against so-called stronger teams.
“I thought we played quite well against Torquay, e were all over them and outshone them on the day. Hopefully we can put up a good test against Crystal Palace, but two derby wins in a week wasn’t bad.”
However, it is the small matter of Hartlepool that occupies the mind of Keohane right now. The concern is that after the euphoria of last Saturday’s win, the Grecians will struggle to raise themselves for this game. Keohane thinks that is nonsense.
“We have to keep our feet on the ground and take every game as it comes,” he said. “We want to keep the run going and stay up there or thereabouts.
“You are only as good as your next game, so we have to keep going and make sure we are ready for Saturday.
“It’s been a great start all right, but we need to keep it going and hopefully the next ten games can go just as well.”