A TROON FC club legend has departed the club after more than a decade at Portland Park.

The Seasiders announced the departure of assistant manager Dean Keenan after their final match of the 2023-24 campaign.

And Keenan's time at the club came to the perfect end as Troon ran out 3-2 winners in a thriller against Junior Cup finalists Darvel on Monday night.

It brings to an end Keenan's 12-year affiliation with Troon, a time which has seen him cement his name into the history books at the club.

The journey which brought 'Deano' to Portland Park was a long, and often turbulent, one.

The 38-year-old's career began in the Celtic FC Aademy before he was spotted by a scout at Morton.

During his time at Cappielow he became one of the club's youngest ever debutants when he came on as a substitute in a Challenge Cup tie against Queen of the South in August 2002, aged just 16.

His Ton time didn't get off to the best of starts - he was sent off in that very first match - but he went on to enjoy a successful six-year spell in Inverclyde which included lifting the old Second Division title in 2007.

The following winter he moved on loan to Ayr United as one of the first signings made by then Somerset Park boss Brian Reid, and became a mainstay with the Honest Men, to whom he made a permanent move in the summer of 2008.

The season after that he scored in a Scottish Cup clash derby clash with Kilmarnock and helped Ayr win promotion to the First Division via the play-offs.

But a cruciate ligament injury sustained while training at Belmont Academy during the 2010-11 season eventually brought his time at Ayr to an unfortunate end; having battled back towards full fitness, a recurrence of the same problem put paid to his comeback plans.

Another two operations later and the defender accepted his senior football career was all but over at the age of 26.

Ayr Advertiser: Dean Keenan will be departing Troon after the final match of the season on Wednesday, May 15.

That, though, was when the door opened for 'Deano' to move into what was then the junior ranks with Kirkintilloch Rob Roy, before he returned to Ayrshire with a move to Portland Park in 2012.

Despite a stuttering start with Troon, Keenan shook off his injury woes, and quickly became the heartbeat of the side that won back-to-back promotions, as well as the Ayrshire Cup and Super First Division title, in 2014.

After cementing a defensive partnership with Gavin Collins, he helped take Troon to the top division in 2015, and  went on to consolidate his position as one of the top junior players in Scotland season after season.

As his career developed, Keenan moved into coaching in June 2019, combining his playing duties with a role as assistant to then-boss Jonny Baillie, a role in which he remained after the arrival of current manager Jimmy Kirkwood.

Keenan hung up his boots at the end of the 2020/21 season but continued in his role as assistant manager, and was rewarded with a testimonial to mark his 10 years with the club, the high point of which was a game against Ayr, then managed by Lee Bullen.

Now, as he prepares to depart Portland Park, the club wish him nothing but the best.

A spokesperson said: "A terrific player, an excellent coach, an even better man and a legend at Troon Football Club.

"Thank you for everything, Dean Keenan!"