Byrne relishing Bohs test
SPORTING Fingal star Conan Byrne has insisted his side are not yet capable of mounting a title challenge after they were handed a trip to defending champions Bohemians for their first game as a League of Ireland Premier Division side, writes Neil Ahern.
The 2010 fixture list was released yesterday and while questions still hang over Cork City's participation in the top tier, there was no doubt about the tie of the opening round -- a first Dublin derby between Bohemians and Fingal.
And Byrne, top scorer for the FAI Ford Cup winners last year, believes his side is capable of causing an upset at Dalymount Park on the evening of Friday, March 5.
"We've been waiting to play them for a couple of years and I'd like to think we can cause an upset. There's always a surprise somewhere and if we could beat Bohemians there'll be no bigger upset," he said.
"It's definitely the game we wanted and maybe the game the league wanted in terms of a local derby and Glen Crowe returning to his old club for the first game."
But, while many believe Liam Buckley's squad is capable of mounting a title challenge this season, Byrne has played down their chances of making an immediate impact in their first season in Ireland's top flight.
"I think our aim this year is a European spot, whether it be through the league or retaining the cup, but we'd be happy with mid-table.
"Maybe in a couple of years we'll have ambitions to beat Bohemians to the title, but we need time to settle into the league. The first game against Bohemians will do us good in terms of the season as a whole."