Andy Lyons has left Bohemian FC for arch rivals Shamrock Rovers.
Shamrock Rovers have today announced the signing of Ireland under-21 right-back Andy Lyons.
Lyons, 21, joins the Hoops on a “multi-year” contract after spending four seasons at Dalymount Park.
The energetic fullback made 77 appearances for the Gypsies, and his performances also attracted suitors from the UK.
Crewe Alexandra, Wigan Athletic and Plymouth were among the teams linked to the Dubliner, but compensation fees proved a barrier to any potential move.
This paved the way for Rovers manager Stephen Bradley to negotiate a deal with the 21-year-old, which will see him play European football once again in 2022.
Andy Lyons says European football was key to his decision.
Lyons was a key man in Bohemian’s UEFA Conference League run in 2021.
The youngster started all six games as Bohs’ made it to the third round, before being defeated on aggregate by Greek giants PAOK.
However, Keith Long’s men had a poor finish to the year and failed to qualify for this Summer’s qualifying round, as they finished fifth in the Premier Division table.
And, explaining his decision to cross the Liffey, Lyons made it clear that playing Champions League football was an important factor for him:
— Shamrock Rovers FC ☘️ (@ShamrockRovers) January 24, 2022
“Rovers have won trophies and there’s the European factor as well,” he told Shamrock Rovers’ official club website.
“They played six games last season and obviously this year we’re hoping to win a few games in Europe and push on to that next level.
“My time at Bohs was brilliant and I’ve a lot of friends there. I think not getting Europe with Bohs was very disappointing and my experience last year meant that I just really want to go back there and experience that again.
Andy Lyons hoping for a bright future with Shamrock Rovers.
“It’s about making that next step for me in my development in my career,” the three-cap Ireland under-21 international continued.
“It’s obviously a tough move, across the Liffey, but I knew myself it was all from a footballing perspective.
“I spoke to everyone at Bohs and outlined my reasons. It was the excitement that Europe gave me and the prospect of doing that again this year and trying to win league titles.”
“I got a call from Stephen Bradley and once I started chatting to him and hearing his plans and vision for me, that was something I was really excited about.
“England and the UK is my ambition, but he outlined what his plan is for me, and I think this is the perfect club for me.
“There is that European exposure and hopefully some leagues and cups as well. It’s definitely going to aid my development and Stephen has a clear plan in place for me so I’m looking forward to it.”
Lyons famously scored the winning goal for Bohemians versus Shamrock Rovers in last year’s FAI Cup. If he can endear himself to the Hoops fans as much as he did to the Dalymount faithful, all parties will be onto a winner.
Check out every League of Ireland transfer ahead of the 2022 season right here.