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Bonanza on table for Byrne

Hoops make 'fantastic offer' to keep midfielder at Rovers

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OFFER: Shamrock Rovers ace Jack Byrne

OFFER: Shamrock Rovers ace Jack Byrne

SPORTSFILE

OFFER: Shamrock Rovers ace Jack Byrne

Shamrock Rovers have made Jack Byrne a "fantastic offer" in an attempt to try and keep the Ireland international at the club.

Hoops boss Stephen Bradley feels that a full campaign with his league-winning group of players would allow them to hit their full potential and Byrne is a major part of that vision.

Bradley doesn't believe that his team have been able to show what they are capable of despite their unbeaten run to league glory with four games to go in this abridged season.

Byrne is struggling after getting Covid-19, with Bradley admitting yesterday that the player was floored by the impact of the virus after testing positive on international duty.

He is back in training but has found it hard to return to anything approaching match fitness and is waiting on the all-clear from medics to resume playing.

Byrne was set to miss out on this evening's scheduled game with Derry City before an outbreak in the Candystripes camp led to the shelving of a fixture that was supposed to coincide with a trophy presentation.

Bradley is hopeful that Byrne will be part of the Rovers journey in 2021 but is also realistic enough to know the 24-year-old will have offers elsewhere with the manager firm in his belief that the Dubliner has the ability to play at any level.

"The club have made him a fantastic offer to try and make sure he plays his football here next year," said Bradley.

"We know Jack will have offers from abroad, we understand that and that's only natural when dealing with a player of that quality.

"But I think Jack understands that Shamrock Rovers and this environment is good for him. He's been brilliant for us and we've been good for him.

"Whatever happens, I think Jack goes down as one of the greatest players to play for the club, to play in the league.

"He has been the best player in the country again. And how he carries himself now compared to when he was younger is night and day. He's a leader now which I don't think Jack could have believed he could be."

The fear for Rovers is that Byrne will leave in order to nail his place down in the Ireland squad, much as Bradley feels he is good enough to operate at that level while based here.

Pitch

"I went to watch Jack play in Holland when he was on loan from Man City, against Ajax, PSV, he was the best player on the pitch. Jack can play at any level that's required.

"The bigger the game, the bigger the occasion, the better he becomes. He loves the showpiece, loves being on that pitch with all eyes on him.

"I know he can (play for Ireland). Jack knows he can.

"He just needs time on the pitch to prove it. And he will. We have to be careful. Stephen (Kenny) has a job to do. He picks the teams and makes the subs as he sees fit, and we've got to respect that.

"I know that he really likes Jack. And when Jack gets his chance, he will take it."

Derry City's season is in turmoil after it was confirmed that the club would put their entire playing squad into isolation for 14 days, meaning that tonight's fame against the champions and the weekend FAI Cup clash with Sligo Rovers are off.

And the FAI will now need to find a new date for that Cup quarter-final while it's expected that Shamrock Rovers will be awarded a 3-0 win instead of the proposed league game.

Derry have one more league game to play, apart from the Rovers fixture, away to Cork City on November 8, but Derry's finish to the season is less than certain as the club are not clear of the danger of relegation.


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