Apoel confirm signing of Jack Byrne from Shamrock Rovers on deal until 2023
"We welcome Jack Byrne to APOEL and wish him to celebrate titles and European successes with the blue and yellow," APOEL said in a statement, the club confirming that Byrne had signed until May 2023.
In a brave move from promising Ireland International he has taken the path less followed and shied away from the traditional route of playing his way up through the English tiers to stardom. This is more than likely down to a failed stint at Man city from the age of 15 where he never quite made the cut.
Irish players are finding it more and more difficult to break into the big teams over the past number of years due to so many international players and huge scouting services operating worldwide that weren't in place 20 years ago.
This led to a few lower moves, to Blackburn, Wigan, Oldham, Kilmarnock none of which took off. He followed it up with a move to Shamrock Rovers where he rejuvenated his career and made it onto the Irish panel.
He helped Shamrock Rovers to the 2019 FAI Cup Final in the Aviva Stadium where they faced holders Dundalk F.C. Rovers won the game 4–2 after a Penalty shoot-out and won the Cup for the first time in 32 years.
He ended the season being picked on the PFAI Team of the Year and picking up the PFAI Players' Player of the Year.
All of this led to renewed club interest in his career with some of the English teams taking a second look at what had been a very promising youth player. Usually in these situations, the transfer is somwhere to the second or third tier where most of our players ply their trade with the slim hope of working their way up to the big time of the premier league.
Why so many Irish player don't go any further than England is still a mystery with so many European leagues out there to make a career but the fact is that very few ever leave those home comforts of Ireland and England to take a chance.
A big part of this is no doubt linking up with former Ireland manager Mick McCarthy who handed him his senior debut for the country and put a lot of effort into making this deal happen.
He does have a lot of talent so lets see if he can build a new career in Europe on the second time of asking.