Byrne seals return to Rovers for 2022
Jack Byrne with Glenn Cronin and Stephen Bradley

Byrne seals return to Rovers for 2022

On the day that they are set to get their hands on the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division title for the second year running, Shamrock Rovers have received a further boost with the news that Jack Byrne has re-signed for the club ahead of the 2022 domestic season.

Having previously featured for the Tallaght men in their 2019 and 2020 campaigns, Byrne returns to Rovers following a difficult spell in Cyprus with APOEL Nicosia.

After playing a key role in the Hoops’ unbeaten march towards a league title, Byrne subsequently made the switch to the Cypriot First Division outfit in January 2021. The APOEL manager at the time of his arrival was Mick McCarthy, who had handed him his senior international debut against Bulgaria in September 2019.

However, the former Manchester City prodigy only played one game under McCarthy before he was subsequently relieved of his managerial duties. Byrne added four more appearances during an injury-plagued spell, but left the club by mutual consent on 24 September of this year.

Because he wasn’t a free agent when the transfer window had shut a few weeks earlier, Byrne wasn’t in a position to join another club upon his departure. Rumours of a move back to Rovers quickly gathered pace, though there was also interest from arch rivals Bohemians and Shelbourne.

Once he had his mind set on remaining in Ireland, however, Rovers were always likely to be his next destination. In addition to securing a league crown with the Hoops, Byrne also won an FAI Cup in 2019.

18 goals in 63 appearances – as well as a host of assists – is indicative of the impact he made during his first spell with Rovers. This is something that didn’t go unnoticed amongst his peers, who anointed him as the PFAI Players’ Player of the Year for two years running.

While it is stating the obvious, Byrne will add considerably to an already-impressive Rovers squad. Although Hoops boss Stephen Bradley may have a fight on his hands to keep a hold of Danny Mandrioiu after an excellent debut season in Tallaght, Byrne’s return would offset any potential loss in personnel.

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