Stuart Byrne outlines the lingering negatives away from the League of Ireland's feel-good stories

Ex-Shelbourne midfielder reviews the season

BY Raf Diallo 21:56 Tuesday 15 November 2016, 21:56 15 Nov 2016

Rovers' Sean Heaney and Daryl Horgan of Dundalk ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

For Dundalk, the campaign isn't over yet when it comes to European commitments.

But in terms of the League of Ireland and FAI Cup domestic season, 2016 has closed for the off-season with Dundalk securing a third league title in a row and runners-up Cork City winning the cup.

Former Shelbourne and Longford Town midfielder Stuart Byrne joined Off The Ball for the season review and spoke about some of the highs and lows from domestic soccer in 2016.

"I think if you take Dundalk out of the season, there's a lot of negatives there to point out unfortunately," he said.

"Although, I think Derry [City] had a good season, the performances of all the clubs below Cork have been pretty poor.

"I've been actually pretty disappointed with how a lot of the clubs have approached the games when they've come to play Dundalk and Cork.

"I don't want to be overly critical but some of the games I've watched, it's like they've thrown in the towel before they've even started the game.

As for the quality in games outside the top two, Stuey feels they have tended to be average and has worries about Shamrock Rovers' prospects in 2017.

"Let's say the Derry-Shamrock Rovers games. They've tended to be quite tight. I've been really disappointed in Rovers, I have to say. I know they're going to go down this road of trying to develop youth.

"I think if they don't get it right in the off-season, they could be in real trouble. I really do. I don't think you can down total youth policy in this country. So unless they sign two, three or four really good professionals to guide those young guys along the way, they could find themselves in a bit of trouble next year."

Stuey also added that the "general publicity of the league has been pretty poor" and also feels attendances haven't been necessarily strong overall.


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