Friday 23 March 2018

Luke Byrne: Kenna can expect a hot reception from Pat's fans

Luke Byrne joined Shamrock Rovers from Bohemians during the winter
Luke Byrne joined Shamrock Rovers from Bohemians during the winter
Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

Luke Byrne is looking forward to a Dublin derby at Inchicore where some of his Shamrock Rovers colleagues will suffer the same treatment as he did in the Hoops' recent win over Bohemians at Dalymount Park.

The young full-back came in for serious abuse from Gypsies fans after he swapped clubs over the winter and landed himself in trouble when a picture of him posing with €50 notes was mischievously leaked.

"Maybe you just learn to pick who you trust a little bit carefully," said the 20-year-old. "I do regret it but it was just a joke between me and a couple of close friends."

There will be other players in the spotlight tonight, with St Patrick's Athletic and Rovers exchanging personnel frequently over the past couple of seasons, most significantly when Trevor Croly left his post as assistant to Liam Buckley to take the reins in Tallaght.


Conor Kenna followed Croly this winter after skippering the Saints to league joy last term and Byrne thinks he could be in for a rough time.

"I've had a bit of joke with Conor saying that I was the hated one coming into the Bohs game and it's his turn this week," he said.

"I saw earlier in the season that a few players from each team were... not having a dig, but maybe talking about each other, but we're just looking at it as another game. We're not going to get dragged into a war of words or anything personal, it's just a game of football."

Byrne was heartened by messages of support he received from Bohs fans, even if he came in for a hard time in Dalymount.

"I honestly was not dreading it," he said. "It's the one fixture I looked forward to most and I am looking forward to meeting them again."

Rovers go into this evening's intense encounter joint top of the table, with Monday night's comfortable dismissal of UCD erasing the memory of a bruising defeat in Cork last Friday.

Irish Independent

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