A milestone in the careers of two former Colleges and Universities
players was reached in midweek when Conor Keeley and Alan O’Sullivan
recorded notable achievements with their current club sides.
By JOHN HUDSON
Both are now playing in the Northern Ireland Football League’s (NIFL)
Danske Bank Premiership, Keeley with Ballymena United and O’Sullivan
at Warrenpoint Town.
Co Meath native Keeley a defender who studied at Griffith College
Dublin had a stellar evening at the Ballymena Showgrounds hitting a
dream double in Ballymena United’s surprise 2-1 defeat of league
The goals were Keeley’s first ever scores for his new club after
manager David Jeffrey signed him in January following his three
seasons at Cabinteely FC.
Keeley broke the deadlock on 67 minutes, very much against the run of
play, with a low right foot finish into the bottom corner following a
Tony Kane perfectly delivered free-kick.
Linfield levelled with a quarter-of-an-hour left, courtesy of Andy
Waterworth’s spot-kick awarded after Navid Nasseri had been fouled in
But the biggest drama was yet to come when, two minutes into stoppage
time, Keeley bundled United’s winner over the line from another Kane
During his time at Griffith College Keeley gained an international cap
playing for the Irish Colleges and Universities side that defeated
France 2-1 at Longford in 2019.
While in another tight game at their Milltown ground Warrenpoint Town
striker O’Sullivan came off the bench to make his 100 th appearance
for the Co Down club against Glentoran.
Unfortunately O’Sullivan’s evening hadn’t the same happy ending that
Keeley had experienced as his side went down 2-1.
A product of Home Farm, O’Sullivan had returned home in 2014 after a
two year spell with Aberdeen and began his studies at Dublin City
University and later at IT Carlow. He regularly figured in all of the
Third Level Football competitions during that academic period.
O’Sullivan also spent time in the League of Ireland with Shelbourne
and Athlone Town before linking up with Leinster Senior League top
side Malahide United.
He picked a host of international caps for the Irish Colleges and
Universities side and represented Ireland at three World University
Games. 2015 Gwangju (South Korea), 2017 Chinese Taipei and 2019 Naples
The Dubliner is in his third full season at Warrenpoint after being
signed from Malahide United by their previous manager Matthew Tipton
following a fine showing for DCU in the 2018 Collingwood Cup held at
Queens University Belfast.
Both Keeley and O’Sullivan are part of a large band of players from
south of the border who are now playing in the NIFL Danske Bank
Warrenpoint have an impressive contingent which includes Ryan Swan,
Jake O’Connor Gavin Peers and Keelan Dillon.
While North Belfast club Cliftonville regularly field southern players
including Aaron McCarey, Ryan O’Reilly, Daire O’Connor and Gary Breen.
Former Bohemians player Faud Sule is the midfield king pin for Larne
and is joined there by southeners Lee Lynch, Graham Kelly and Luke
Greg Moorehouse, Conan Byrne, Craig Hyland, Gareth McCaffrey and Josh
Doyle are at Glenavon. While at Windsor Park league leaders Linfield
where former Shelbourne, Bohemians and Shamrock Rovers manager Pat
Fenlon is now General Manager have Conor Peppard in their squad.