DFC | Byrne hoping to become a regular feature in the Dundalk FC attack

On loan striker scored in Sunday’s win over Warrenpoint Town

Sam Byrne is hoping to reap the benefits of playing the full 90 minutes and scoring his first Dundalk goal in Sunday’s friendly win over against Warrenpoint Town.

The 22-year-old, who is on loan from Everton until the summer, has only featured in one of Dundalk’s three league games to date, coming off the bench for 12 minutes in the scoreless draw with Bray Wanderers on the opening night.

Speaking after that game, Lilywhites manager Stephen Kenny said that Byrne needed to work on his fitness and the former Irish underage captain feels he is getting closer to where he wants to be.

“I’m feeling good,” he told Dundalk Sport after the 4–0 win over Warrenpoint. “I was a bit tired towards the end but I think that’s normal but in terms of being 100% I don’t think I’m too far away.

“Nothing compares to playing a game,” he added. “It was massive for me to get 90 minutes in and to get a goal on top of it is a big bonus. Hopefully I can kick on from it now and keep getting a few minutes here and there.”

Talk about fitness levels leads, inevitably, to the double leg break Byrne suffered at Everton in January 2016. He responds with a rye smile, almost as if he knew the question was coming his way.

“Every time I see my name, it seems to be mentioned alongside it,” he laughed, “but it’s at the back of my head now. It was a massive setback but I’m trying to keep it in the past and my leg is fine now.”

The Kildare-man should feature in the next couple of weeks. Friday night’s game with Cork City marks the start of a hectic period which will see Dundalk play four times in the space of just 10 days.

“Everybody will be needed,” he agreed. ”We have a big enough squad to be able to shift things around and bring people in. If Stephen does that, I don’t think it will change much because everybody is competing with each other.

“I think that competition is good for everybody. It keeps us all on our toes,” he added. “Every player wants to play week in, week out but there is massive competition here for places and it’s up to me to make sure that if I get in, I stay in.”

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