Keating surprised by her rise into Man City's starting line-up this term
Manchester City goalkeeper Khiara Keating has described her breakthrough 2023-24 season to date as "surreal" as the 19-year-old prepares for Sunday's historic derby at Old Trafford.
Having previously made only a handful of first-team appearances for City and had loan spells with AFC Fylde and Coventry United, Keating has played every minute for Gareth Taylor's side in the Women's Super League so far this term and also received a maiden call-up to the senior England squad.
City announced earlier today that Keating had signed a three-year contract extension, committing her to the club until 2027.
She said: "I don't think it was expected and I feel like just getting thrown in there was quite good.
"It's been so surreal, I didn't expect to come in and play so many games, especially against teams like Chelsea and Arsenal.
"You learn something new from every game and gain more experience the more you play, so it's been good to get out there and get some minutes. The more you play the more confident you get."
On her England experience, during which she was an unused substitute for a Nations League double-header against Belgium, she said: "It's anyone's dream if you're from England to make it to the seniors.
"I feel like it was just, again, so surreal but the girls were lovely. Training standards were so high and it was a great experience to just be around [that]."
It has not all been highs for Keating, who was among the WSL player of the month nominees for October after keeping three clean sheets — in City's 2-1 loss at Arsenal on November 5, having saved a penalty, she saw a late mistake punished as Stina Blackstenius netted the hosts' winner.
Regarding that game, she said: "I think it's just things to take away. It was a mistake [and] in that moment I felt like the world was going to end!
"It's one of those things, it's football and it happens. The support from the girls, Gareth and the coaching staff around me was unreal, to bounce back and make sure I was ready for the next game."