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Sunday 21 April 2019

Jack just happy to be a hoop

Byrne (22) looks for revival at Rovers

LOTS LEFT TO GIVE: Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
LOTS LEFT TO GIVE: Jack Byrne of Shamrock Rovers. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile

Less than two years after he was in Dublin training with the senior international team and talking up his hopes of breaking into Martin O'Neill's team, Jack Byrne finds himself back in his native city,

But the recent signing by Shamrock Rovers maintains there is more of his story to be told as the former Manchester City prospect tries to kick-start his career in the League of Ireland.

And while long-term he does harbour ambitions of winning a senior cap, for now the focus is on his club's game away to Waterford on the opening night of the season next Friday.

"Obviously it would be great but I have to do well here first before I can think of any of that stuff," says Byrne (22).

Lining out for Shamrock Rovers in 2019 was not part of the plan when Byrne's stock was rising in 2016, the St Kevin's Boys product impressing on loan from Manchester City to Dutch side Cambuur, earning a call-up from O'Neill.

But since leaving City career choices have not worked out, Byrne with short stints at Wigan, Oldham and Kilmarnock before he came home late last year, but he shrugs off words like failure or disaster.

"I think I did eight years at Man City, Wigan, Blackburn, Oldham, Cambuur. I don't think it's a failure. Some people go over at the back end of their careers and spend eight years over there. I went away a little bit earlier and I have a lot left in me. Hopefully I can just get enjoying my football and enjoy games," says Byrne.

"Coming home wasn't as big a decision as some people make it out. There's good football people here, great football people so you could do a lot worse learning from people like that. I'm around my family and stuff like that so it wasn't a huge decision," he says of his call to leave Kilmarnock after a frustrating spell.

"I'm a young footballer and I just want to play football. I still think I learned from an unbelievable coach in Steve Clarke at Kilmarnock. His record speaks for itself and I don't think it was a disaster. As much as I didn't play as much as I wanted to, I still really enjoyed it and got a lot out of it."

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