“I’ve spoken to Jack quite regularly over the past two or three years…”
Stephen Bradley appeared on the most recent episode of the LOI Arena podcast, where he discussed all things Shamrock Rovers, after their 19th title win.
Rovers were by far and away the best performers in the league this season, something that Bradley was quick to put down to his players, as opposed to his own work.
And while Rovers’ extremely talented squad won the league comfortably, they have already strengthened the team ahead of next season, with Jack Byrne having re-signed for the club.
Jack Byrne back with Shamrock Rovers
Speaking about what it took to bring the Irish international back to Rovers, Bradley said it took “no persuading”.
He said: “I’ve spoken to Jack quite regularly over the past two or three years, once every two or three weeks. But over the last two months, we haven’t spoken about Shamrock Rovers at all, with regards to Jack coming home.
“I thought it was really important that Jack made that decision with a clear head. If he wanted to go to England or America, he had options, so I felt it was important he made that decision without any influence from himself.
“When I sat with him last week, it was so clear in my head that he was so clear on what he wanted to do. He made everything so easy for me. There was no persuading. Jack is home because he wants to be home.
“He’s hungry to win and hungry to improve us. The Jack Byrne we signed a few years ago is a different Jack Byrne now… Thankfully, he chose to play his football in Ireland.”
Jack Byrne returns to Shamrock Rovers
Explaining why he was keen to strengthen the side so quickly, Bradley said that the league is so strong that if they didn’t improve, they would be in trouble.
He said: “We’ve won the league, we’ll enjoy it for a night or two, but it’s done then. We need to get ready for next year.”
An attitude of a winner, and one that will strike fear into the other teams across the league.
Episode #34 with @ShamrockRovers manager Stephen Bradley is out now ☘️
Stephen reflects on the season, talks about the return of @Jackb_8 and remembers his early days as Rovers boss.
— LOI Arena (@LOI_Arena) November 22, 2021
You can listen to the rest of the podcast here, where Con Murphy and Conan Byrne go through all of the action from the most recent set of League of Ireland games.
Elsewhere in the episode, Bradley also discussed why things haven’t worked out for Byrne at other clubs, in what makes for a really fascinating listen.