JASON Byrne says he is taking things as they come following his eye-catching return to Bohemians, insisting that he is “just going to enjoy my football and everything will follow after that”.
The 36-year-old is back for his second spell with Bohs after a spectacular first incarnation between 2008 and 2010, helping the club win back-to-back titles.
This time around, he returns to Dalymount with fond recollections of his first spell and is hoping – after a top season with Bray last term – he can play some part in bringing some silverware back to the club.
Speaking to GazetteSport ahead of the new League of Ireland season that gets under way on Friday at the Belfield Bowl, he said the mood is upbeat as they seek to dethrone city rivals St Patrick’s Athletic.
“I have great memories of the last time I was here. I was sad to leave but I have great memories of those three years, won a lot of trophies and the league and Setanta Cup and the double as well, and hopefully we will have that kind of success again. Pre-season has been going great so far, and it’s great to be back.”
He was brought back into the fold by former Shelbourne and Bohs club mate Owen Heary who is now in the managerial role, a post Byrne believes his is well suited for.
“It was a bit strange at first as we played together for many years, and he has been a good friend for many years as well. If he’s half the manager as he was a player and a leader and captain on the pitch, he’ll be a great success there as well.”
To that end, he started the competitive season with a goal in the club’s 5-1 Leinster Senior Cup win over former club Bray, adding to efforts from Dinny Corcoran, Steven Beattie and Andy Mulligan.
Their first game in the league against UCD has a bit of bite to it, too. Former Bohs’ boss Aaron Callaghan has taken over as the students’ manager but will not be on the sideline by virtue of a touchline ban picked up last season. The tie kicks off at 7.45pm on Friday.
St Pat’s, meanwhile, start their title defence on the same night with an away trip against Cork City at Turner’s Cross. They go their buoyed by Killian Brennan being named the SSE Airtricity League player of the year for 2013 at the Three FAI International Football Awards last weekend.