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Jack Byrne Explains Where It's Gone Wrong For Him Over The Last Year

Jack Byrne Explains Where It's Gone Wrong For Him Over The Last Year
By PJ Browne Updated

18 months ago, Jack Byrne was training with the Ireland senior squad. A Man City player, he was spending the season on loan at Eredivisie side SC Cambuur. His performances with the Dutch team had caught the eye of Martin O'Neill and the Ireland manager wanted the U21 player to experience the senior set-up.

His career since has taken a dip from the promise shown during that time in Holland. There were six months on loan at Blackburn where he made just three Championship starts. Initially inked as a season-long loan, Byrne returned to Man City early. His time back at Eastlands would not last long - he was sold to Wigan in January.

It was presumed the drop to Wigan would mean regular first team football but he made just two appearances for the club as they were relegated from the Championship. This pre-season, it was reported that Byrne had been sent to train with the club's U18s, with manager Paul Cook saying the Dubliner was one of three players who would not see action for Wigan while the transfer window remained open.

A lifeline arrived for Byrne earlier this week - a loan move to Wigan's fellow League One side Oldham, currently managed by former Ireland international John Sheridan. The deal runs until January 1st.

Speaking to the Oldham Chronicle on Thursday, Byrne gave a little insight into where he believes it has gone wrong for him over the past year.

You have to live up to that potential, but the loan move to Blackburn didn't go as planned and it set me back a couple of months.

Warren Joyce was then sacked at Wigan a few weeks after I had signed for them on a three-and-a-half year contract. These things happen in football and you have to go again and dust yourself off.

You start again every season. Every season is different and anything can happen. I am at Oldham now. Holland was a great experience and I would love to go back there and play again. But I can't thank the gaffer here enough for this opportunity.

Sheridan is said to be very keen on Byrne, regular football would seem likely. That's good news for Irish football and a player who has displayed an abundance of potential.

My club football got me into the Ireland squad in the first place - scoring against PSV, being man of the match against Feyenoord and being in the team of the week after Ajax - but it has slowed down since then.

The two or three games a week last year was difficult for me and I couldn't adapt.

That's what I am looking forward to this time around and putting that to bed.

Picture credit: Matt Browne / SPORTSFILE

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