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Jack Byrne Had The Option Of Another European Move This Summer

Gary Reilly
By Gary Reilly
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We've already heard from Owen Coyle on the signing of Jack Byrne today and now we get to hear from the man himself. The 20 year old Dubliner has the future of Irish football at his feet and, with that kind of pressure, it could be easy to worry about the effect that that kind of pressure can have.

However, when you hear Byrne speak, there's an incredible maturity that belies his years. That's something that replicates itself in his play and the simple fact that Byrne was so eager to make the move to the Netherlands last season is testament to that maturity. It's a move that an awful lot of young players would shy away from.

Byrne however, took the opportunity with both hands and, speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire today, it was clear just how much of an impact that experience had on him.

I didn't have many friends over there and it was a bit lonely at times but you have to keep going. I was over there purely for football. For me at that time, at 19 years of age going 20, it was the best thing for me to do.

All I concentrated on was football, football, football. I went in in the morning, trained, went home, slept, woke up trained. That was my routine week after week.


As much as we may want to see more Irish players on the continent, the reality of Byrne's situation is that Blackburn is the best place for him this year. He wants to break through at Man City and getting first team experience in England is the next step to making that happen. There were however, offers from the continent once again after his performances in the Eredivisie last season.

I had options in France, I had options in Israel, I had options everywhere. People don't know me that well in England but because I played in Europe, a lot of people know we in Europe but I'm looking forward to getting going now and I knew this (Blackburn) was the right choice for me.

It would have been intriguing to see Byrne make a name for himself in Ligue 1, and that chance may come along again, but for now, he's going down the Championship route and, given the manner that Owen Coyle spoke about him, that could well be the best possible option for him.

You can listen to Byrne speaking to BBC Radio Lancashire here:



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