'Emotional' parting from St Patrick’s Athletic for Byrne

CONAN Byrne has spoke of this emotional parting with St Patrick’s Athletic after six years with the club.

Work commitments as a teacher have effectively ruled out the 33-year-old winger from re-joining the Saints who are reverting to morning training sessions.

Pats Players 24

Conan Byrne

He captained the team in his last match for the club on Friday night when they hammered Derry City 5-0 in Richmond Park to finish fifth in the Premier Division table.

“It was very emotional leaving St Pat’s and sometimes I feel it would have been nice to finish my playing career with them after being there for so long, but it’s a fresh start and I’m looking forward to seeing what’s ahead,” Byrne told The Echo.

“I’m in negotiations with a few clubs. I’m still hungry to get those assists and score goals. I still feel like a 24-year-old wanting to win everything.

“If they [St Pat’s] are to be up there challenging with the likes of Dundalk and Cork they have to be training mornings, but I want to continue teaching and so I can’t.

“In fairness to Harry, [Kenny] he wanted to keep me and asked whether I could take a career break and do anything to stay on, but ultimately I had to leave,” he said.

Looking back on his six seasons with the Saints, Byrne pointed to several highlights.

“There’s a few, but scoring four goals in Tallaght Stadium is definitely up there. Dundalk were on our heels and we needed to win to stay ahead of them, but to win 4-0 and score all four goals was very special.

“And to win the league that year was great, but I have to say that to be a part of that team that won the FAI Cup in 2014 was great.

“People see that win as being all about the fans, but being a player on the team that brought the cup back to Inchicore after so long was great. You could see what it meant to the team, the club and the area. Yeah that has to be the one.”

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