Sunday 5 February 2023 Dublin: 2°C
# Loan Ranger
Dundalk striker Byrne heads north in search of first-team opportunities
The 23-year-old will spend six months in the Danske Bank Premiership.

SAM BYRNE WILL bid to get his promising career back on track after signing a short-term loan deal with Glentoran, which will see him play in the Danske Bank Premiership until the end of January.

Shane O'Connor with Sam Byrne Oisin Keniry / INPHO Byrne has played just twice in the league for Dundalk this season. Oisin Keniry / INPHO / INPHO

The 23-year-old signed an 18-month contract with Dundalk at the start of last month following his release from Everton, having spent four years at Goodison Park.

Byrne has found first-team opportunities hard to come by at Oriel Park, and having made just two league appearances for the Lilywhites this term, now heads north in search of regular game time.

Glentoran are just two games into their 2018/19 campaign and the striker will line out for the Belfast outfit until the turn of the year, at which point he’ll return to Dundalk for the start of pre-season training.

“Sam will be a very good signing and I’m very pleased we’ve got this over the line,” Glentoran manager Ronnie McFall said.

“Dundalk are a very good team but there’s no reserve league in the Republic so its much better for everyone concerned that Sam gets plenty of competitive football.”

Byrne arrived at Dundalk with a big reputation having joined Manchester United from St Kevin’s Boys in 2011, but has failed to break into Stephen Kenny’s plans with the Lilywhites currently sitting behind Cork City at the top of the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division.

After a season at Old Trafford, Byrne — the younger brother of Ireland rugby international Adam — moved to Everton, but his progress through the ranks there was halted by a broken leg.

“He’s the sort of centre forward I’ve been looking for,” McFall added. “He’s strong, he gets goals but also he holds the ball up very well in important positions. He’ll add well to our squad.

“I’m looking for players with pedigree and Sam’s speaks for itself with so many years at Manchester United and Everton but also the fact that he’s coming from one of the top clubs in the Republic too. Also, he’s represented the Republic at every level up to U21 so he’s been highly rated throughout his career.”

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Byrne could make his debut against Coleraine on Saturday, but his move is still subject to international clearance.

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