Niall Keown: Dad is big influence but I’m my own man

Partick Thistle's new signing Niall Keown is the son of former Arsenal defender, Martin. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Partick Thistle's new signing Niall Keown is the son of former Arsenal defender, Martin. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Partick Thistle new boy Niall Keown will bring some well-known family traits to Firhill.

The 21-year-old defender, who signed on loan from Reading for the rest of the season, is the son of former Arsenal and England stopper Martin Keown who was renowned for his rugged determination to keep strikers at bay.

Keown junior insists he is his own man but concedes his dad’s defensive zeal has inevitably rubbed off on him during his formative years.

The Republic of Ireland Under-21 international said: “I enjoy defending, I enjoy that feeling of trying to keep a clean sheet. That is just who I am as a player.

“But my dad has been a positive influence on me. A lot of people ask me if he is in my ear a lot but really he takes a bit of a back seat. But one thing I would say is that I have probably developed a mentality and a mind-set having been in the same house as him for years.

“He thought it was a good move for me, a good opportunity. But I am my own player. Yes, we play in the same position and some people might draw some similarities. But I am going to be my own player and I guess everyone will make their own judgments and opinions on what sort of player I am.”

Partick travel to Inverness today, with Caley Thistle bidding to get off the foot of the table.

Home manager Richie Foran described it as a “must-win” game and the Irishman has brought in Estonia striker Henri Anier and 22-year-old forward Dean Ebbe from the Irish non-league ranks, and he feels they will offer good alternatives to Lonsana Doumbouya, Alex Fisher and Scott Boden.