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Niall Keown




Date of birth




Republic of Ireland

Niall is the son of the former Arsenal and England international Martin Keown, who also had a brief spell as a Royal towards the end of the 2004/05 Campaign.

He didn’t join up with our Academy until 2011 at the age of 16. Before this he had just been playing in the local boy’s league around his parents’ home in Oxford.

Having studied at the Abingdon School in Oxfordshire, which is better known for its rugby than its football, Keown didn’t sign a professional contract with the club until he was 18.

He was a key member of the 2011/12 Academy side, and played a large amount of games in the 2012/13 season for the U21s, despite still being eligible to for the U18s.

Kewon was a regular In Martin Kuhl’s side that lifted the Premier League Cup in its foundational season, and went on to gain promotion with the same side in the resulting campaign, finishing runners-up to Middlesbrough for a spot in Premier League Division One.

That year also gave way for Keown’s first team debut. Having been a feature on the bench the previous season when the Royals hosted Nottingham Forest, Keown stepped out as a substitute on our hallowed turf when we welcomed a visit from Brighton in March.

He made his first start within the defensive line four days later, given a chance to show his worth in a much changed Steve Clarke side that was preparing for an FA Cup quarter-final replay against Bradford just two days later. 

That March he also earned a call up to the Republic of Ireland U21s squad, despite having previously been back-up for England U18s.