Record in sight for Byrne

by Staff Reporter

UCD AFC unveiled a trio of exciting new signings for their 2016 League of Ireland First Division campaign with Jason Byrne, Brian Shortall and Cathal Brady all joining the club while Collie O’Neill has also revealed Gary O’Neill will be his new captain for the year ahead.
Having missed out on promotion last season in the playoffs against Finn Harps, Collie O’Neill has managed to retain the majority of his young squad, particularly with Ryan Swan and Dylan Watts both signing new two year deals last July.
He will also look to add some more experience to it with negotiations on-going with some new and existing players.
Speaking about the year ahead, O’Neill said: “I’m really excited with the new signings, for the coming season we’ll have a good blend of youth and experience”
League of Ireland legend Byrne joins from Bohemian and he has set his sights on breaking the League of Ireland goal scoring record as well as helping the club back to the Premier Division.
He says the clear motivation is to bang in the goals.
“That’s the objective [breaking the record], but if I can get the goals and we can get promoted back to the Premier Division then that would be fantastic.”
And O’Neill is delighted to have him on board, saying he will be able to strike a great partnership with Swan.
“Jason impressed me when I met him before Christmas; the whole conversation was about football, he just loves his football and loves to score goals. We almost signed him during the summer transferwindow last season but for one reason or another we just couldn’t complete the transfer.
“He has great presence in the dressing room, he’s a top quality pro and I’m drooling with the thoughts with maybe seeing a sorcerer and the apprentice partnership in Byrne and Swan.”
Cathal Brady has joined UCD for the new season and O’Neill is delighted to finally get his man after trying to sign him on numerous occasions.
“In all of the previous clubs I’ve been with, we’ve tried to sign Cathal so after 10 years of trying to sign him I’m delighted to finally have him on board, because of his great attacking qualities he is one of those players that would always occupy some of my pre match talks when he was playing against us.”
Brian Shortall moved to the club for a second spell after spending last season with Athlone Town. In his previous spell with the club, he played a massive part in winning the First Division in 2009 when he named in the PFAI First Division Team of the Year, and will be hoping for more of the same for the coming season.

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