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Andy Lyons: The next League of Ireland youngster set for a shot abroad?

Shamrock Rovers full-back Andy Lyons has been nominated for the SSE Airtricity League Player of the Month award after an impressive April. 

Stephen Bradley’s decision to stick with Shamrock Rovers amid interest from Lincoln City means there is unlikely to be a mass exodus from Tallaght Stadium for the time being. 

The 37-year-old today committed his future to the club and that will come as music to the ears of Rovers supporters. Not only because he has proved himself as a top manager, but also because he very possibly could have taken the likes of Jack Byrne and Danny Mandroiu with him to League One. 

Instead, Bradley will oversee a steady ship through the rest of the season with a stacked squad boasting of components to give European qualification a good rattle. Any uncertainty has been cleared and the short-term, at least, is under control in terms of managerial and playing personnel 

You do wonder however, how long it will be before one of his youngest stars begins to attract interest from across the water – whether he likes it or not. 

Andy Lyons

Andy Lyons gets better and better for Rovers.

Ireland U21 international Andy Lyons has proved to be one of the signings of the season so far after joining Rovers from rivals Bohemians in the off-season.

Lyons has already scored five goals in his first twelve appearances for the Hoops from wing-back and has also provided two assists. His move across the capital sparked lots of reaction between the two sets of supporters over the winter but it does seem like the defender has taken his game to the next level under Bradley and co. 

With a licence to attack the opposition penalty box with regularity, Lyons has started to blossom into a dangerous full-back with an attacking prowess not dissimilar to Matt Doherty. His healthy habits of arriving at the back-post and attacking crosses from set-pieces have seen him already score four more goals this season than he did in the entirety of 2021. 

In defence of Keith Long and Bohs’, the Gypsies were seldom as dominant as Rovers in league fixtures during Lyons’ time at the club, meaning he needed to be that bit more pragmatic when roaming forward. 

That’s not to say he wasn’t still excellent for Bohemians – especially in their European run which culminated with a narrow defeat to Greek giants PAOK over two legs.  

Ireland U21 international Andy Lyons showing big potential.

Lyons has long been earmarked as a prospect to watch in League of Ireland circles. The Blackrock schoolboy made his league bow back in 2018 for Bohemians and has since represented his country on a number of occasions.

Lyons currently plays for the Ireland U21s team, coached by Jim Crawford. He has started on three occasions at that level to date, being preferred to the likes of Festy Ebosele or Lee O’Connor in the process.

Having recently signed for Shamrock Rovers it is highly unlikely that he will leave the club this summer but like ex-teammate Dawson Devoy, UCD forward Colm Whelan and Derry keeper Brian Maher, he has been tipped to make a mark abroad in due time.

Crewe Alexandra were linked with Lyons’ name over the Christmas period and they will hardly be the last League One side to have a look at the raiding wing-back.

With five goals, two assists and a Player of the Month nomination, he is certainly trending in the right direction.

For extensive coverage of Ireland’s best up and coming propsects follow Kenny’s Kids on Twitter

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