herald

Friday 13 December 2019

Talk of Byrne exploits get sidelined by Hoops row

Dan Carr
Dan Carr

Stephen Bradley would have expected that his biggest problem at Shamrock Rovers this week would have been dealing with the inevitable hype surrounding Jack Byrne.

The much-travelled Dubliner appeared to be settling down in his spell at Tallaght Stadium, the boost last week of a call-up to the provisional Ireland squad and then a stunning display, in front of the live TV cameras, in Monday's 5-1 dismissal of Waterford.

If that form is sustained, especially the outstanding goals given repeated showings on social media, keeping Byrne in Ireland will be a battle. With sales of players in the last year to to Preston, Manchester City, Cardiff and Rotherham, transfer talk will surely raise its head, even with the close of the transfer window in England (it's still open in Scotland and most of the continent).

But instead Bradley has found himself in the middle of a spat with former player Dan Carr, a rare case of issues at Rovers getting a public airing, such is the club's desire to keep all matters in-house.

Bradley said after Friday's win in Derry that Carr, who had just signed for Cypriot club Apollon Limassol, "just didn't fit where we were going as a club".

He added: "This club is a special club and it's bigger than any one individual and, unfortunately, that individual just felt he was a little bit bigger than us."

A distance of 4,500km didn't keep Carr out of the story as he responded on Twitter.

"What a load of bollocks! Never once thought I was bigger than this club that gave me so much! Always gave my all for the club and will always be a part of me! Very untrue and disrespectful!!!" was Carr's response.

Former players like Gary Twigg are usually welcomed back to Tallaght and this row has probably ended any chance of that for Carr, but Bradley has taken a stance, stressed that player power won't rule the roost at Tallaght and it's a PR battle that Bradley feels he can win.

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