Shaun Byrne is set to come up against his old employers as the midfielder prepares for today’s Scottish Championship opening fixture at the Tony Macaroni Arena between Livingston and Dunfermline.
Talking about his time at East End Park, the 24-year-old said:
“The first 6 months of my last season was great, I played nearly every game but then, after Christmas, I never played much – only 3 matches I think. It was good to win the league but it is hard when you are training Monday to Friday and not playing on a Saturday. I ain’t one to sit on the bench and be happy; I want to be playing consistently and I think, come the end of the season, I had probably made my mind up that I wanted to leave and try somewhere else. I think it was best for both parties: it has allowed me to go and develop further..”
“Livingston is also a big club,” explains Byrne, “so it wasn’t a big decision. The main thing for me last year was to play games and I done that. To stay full-time and win League One again was great – I am really happy with how things have went and are going right now at Livingston. I think the manager we have right now is great – he is doing everything to make Livi better and change folks perception of the club – we have all the right facilities; we do everything right with the heart monitors being worn and having ice baths every day. It has all the makings of a full-time club and that is why we were successful last year. Everyone is together and we are a good club on the up.”
“We are a young team at Livingston, the manager has brought the majority of us in and he has brought us all on in our games, too. We are improving all the time – we are hungry also and that just helps us in our determination to succeed,” continues Byrne. “I think I have become a better player, due to playing so much and consistently. I think I have added the dirty side to my game – the manager has worked hard with me on the defensive side and I have became more accustomed to that role as the season went on.”
Ahead of the visit of his former side, Dunfermline, to the Tony Macaroni Arena this weekend, the Fifer said:
“It is always good to start off at home, but, to be honest, every game is going to be tough whether you are at home or away; we are going to need to battle for every single point this season. I’m looking forward to Saturday – I have still got a lot of good friends at the club. It is, however, in reality just another game and it is a match I want to help out my team-mate’s in to make sure we start off with a win. We know it’ll be hard, Dunfermline are a good side and I think at the end of the season, they will be there or thereabout the play-off’s at least.”