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Dublin: 5 °C Monday 10 December, 2018
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Jack Byrne linked with move to Shamrock Rovers

The 22-year-old looks set to leave Scottish Premiership leaders Kilmarnock after just four months.

The Dubliner only arrived in Scotland in August.
The Dubliner only arrived in Scotland in August.
Image: Jeff Holmes

FORMER IRELAND U21 international Jack Byrne could be set for a return home, with Shamrock Rovers keen on his signature. 

Having joined Kilmarnock in August, the 22-year-old midfielder’s time in Scotland appears to be over after only four months. 

Byrne has found it difficult to break into Steve Clarke’s side and managed just five appearances — all as a substitute — for the surprise Scottish Premiership leaders. 

He wasn’t included in the matchday squad for last night’s 2-0 win over Livingston. 

The42 understands that Rovers are interested in the Dubliner, although securing a striker is the SSE Airtricity League side’s main priority. 

Byrne trained with Stephen Bradley’s squad in the past, while his agent is former Ireland, Arsenal and Hoops forward Graham Barrett. 

The St Kevin’s Boys product earned a reputation as one of Ireland’s hottest young prospects with the Manchester City U19s in the 2014/15 Uefa Youth League — where he scored six goals in eight matches.

Those performances earned him comparisons with Roy Keane from his then-manager Patrick Vieira. 

Jack Byrne Byrne lining out for Ireland's U21s in 2016. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

A season-long loan spell at Dutch side Cambuur proved worthwhile as he gained experience playing regular first-team football in the Eredivisie, and a call-up to the senior Ireland squad followed that summer. 

Since then, however, Byrne’s career hasn’t gone the way he would have hoped. 

After an unsuccessful stint with Wigan Athletic, he began life well at Oldham Athletic but breached disciplinary rules and was forced to train with the youth team before the League Two club terminated his contract by mutual agreement at the end of August. 

A move to Rovers would represent an opportunity to get back on track by establishing himself in the League of Ireland before earning a switch back across the water in the same way that players such as Graham Burke, Sean Maguire and Richie Towell have done. 

Murray Kinsella, Gavan Casey and Andy Dunne preview a big weekend of Heineken Cup action and dissect the week’s main talking points.


Source: Heineken Rugby Weekly on The42/SoundCloud

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Ben Blake

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