Admittedly, the itinerary for the Formartine United squad was hardly that of a lads' break: catch the Scotland game, early to bed and then be up to hit the road again to reach Annan in time for a Ramsdens Cup quarter-final. "It's a change from a normal Friday," the defender said. "Some of the boys might ordinarily plan to have a couple of pints the night before a game . . ."
He was joking, of course, although such a remark still befitted a tie ridden with cliche. The Aberdeenshire-based Highland League side have earned their place in the last eight of the competition - plundering a 5-1 win against Elgin City in the last round - but will arrive in Annan as a plucky team from up north, which seemingly does not know its place.
That perception is met with a wry smile from McKeown, since he has seen the bare ambition of a team comprising other former senior players such as Joe Hamill, Callum Bagshaw and Neil McVitie and is able to dispel any notion that the semi-finals are beyond Formartine.
A run of five successive wins this season has enacted a show of strength in the Highland League and McKeown is confident he is part of a squad capable of mixing it with an SPFL side. "There are players who could more than happily play senior football, and full-time at that,"the 28-year-old said. "It's just that financially and location-wise it's not available to them."
That is informed by his own experience. After ending a four-year stay at Dundee last summer, the defender was offered a chance of a new start with senior clubs from both sides of the border, only to decline, move back to his native Aberdeen and apply for jobs away from football.
Experience gained from playing at Dens and with Clyde and Dunfermline Athletic allowed McKeown to calculate that he could still play at a higher level; it was just that other sums no longer added up.
"Finances now dictate that you get a nine-month contract and you will be lucky if you make £12,000 or £13,000 after tax now in those nine months," he said. "Don't get me wrong, I still miss [full-time] football and to turn your back on it because of finances is a hard thing to take.
"The one thing that keeps me sane is that a lot of the boys in Scottish football, maybe 90% of them, will need to find another job at some point. I'm fortunate I've done that, while enjoying my football."