PNE: Exclusive Will Keane column

PNE loan star Will Keane grew up in the junior ranks at Old Trafford with his twin brother Mike, who now plays for Burnley
PNE loan star Will Keane grew up in the junior ranks at Old Trafford with his twin brother Mike, who now plays for Burnley
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I am not too happy at the moment.

My twin bother Mike – who plays for Burnley – is ahead of me in the Championship goalscoring stakes.

His header against Birmingham City for the Clarets last Saturday means he is currently holding the bragging rights as I have yet to open my account for Preston after three league games.

It is made even worse for me bearing in mind he’s a central defender and I play as a striker!

I did get one against Crewe in the Capital One Cup, so really we are all square at the moment. And I am confident as the season progresses that I will be well ahead of him in the goals chart, come the end of the season.

Hopefully, my first league goal will arrive on Saturday at Deepdale against Ipswich.

It is pretty amazing to think that myself and my brother, who is the elder by one minute, are both playing professional football.

Obviously, we both grew up playing for Manchester United as youngsters and came up through the ranks together. Over the last few years, we have both gone out on loan and we’ve only ever played against each other once when he was at Blackburn and I played for QPR.

That was very strange because we had always been used to playing in the same team.

Preston against Burnley is always a big derby game at any time, but it’s going to be extra special – and interesting – for our family to see me and Michael come up against each other this season.

As kids, we both got signed by United pretty much at the same time at the age of 10.

United asked us to go on trial for six weeks and at the time Mike was injured with a broken toe, so his trial happened a little bit after mine.

I was the first to sign and then he soon followed.

In those days he was a midfielder and so he used to set me up all the time because I have always been a striker.

We also have an older brother called Tom – who is a lawyer and actually acts as our agent – so you can imagine the kickabouts we had in the back garden as kids were hugely competitive.

I like to think that I was always the most skilful one out of the two of us, although he does have a few tricks.

To be fair, he is a very cultured player and is very comfortable on the ball and that’s the way we have both been brought up at United.

To be at a club like United has been an incredible experience for us both.

We have learned so much in training and that has got us to where we are today. It is something which we will always keep with us.

Obviously, I am still contracted to United. I am hoping to build on my experience and my career here at Preston and then see where that leads me.

Mike has signed a permanent deal with Burnley.

He played in the Premier League with the Clarets last season and got some great experience. Rio Ferdinand recently said he’s a future England international.

I am sure someone has said the same thing about me!

But seriously, we have both played for England Under-21s and it’s a dream of ours to play for the England senior team.

I am really proud of my brother and what he has been able to achieve. You could say growing up, I was always slightly ahead of him – he was more of a late developer.

I got a professional contract straight away, where as he was on a part-time scholarship and stayed at school and did his A Levels.

He is still looked upon at United as a great example to the young lads coming through.

Mike was not guaranteed anything, but he was so determined and put in a lot of hard work to get to where he is now.

I am hoping he can have a really good season this year, although I am planning on making sure he’s on the losing side when Preston and Burnley come face to face.