My Kildare Life: Interview with Kill footballer Sam Byrne

Dundalk footballer

Sarah Peppard

Reporter:

Sarah Peppard

Email:

sarah.peppard@leinsterleader.ie

My Kildare Life: Interview with Kill soccer star Sam Byrne

Sam Byrne

Sam Byrne from Kill is a professional footballer currently on loan with Dundalk FC from Everton.

Sam (22) is the son of Gillian and Keith, and brother of Ireland and Leinster rugby star Adam. He has one sister named Abbie.

Sam started off playing with Naas AFC for 10 years, and moved to Dublin club St Joseph's Boys thereafter. He has represented Ireland at the highest underage level. He also played GAA with Kill. 

He was scouted out at the  age of 15, and signed for Manchester United in 2011. After a stint there, he was snatched up by Everton at the end of the 2013/2014 season but suffered a broken leg in 2016 which seen him out of action  for almost a year. 

He signed again for Everton in 2017. He is now currently living back in Kill, and playing on loan with Dundalk FC.

WHAT IS YOUR FIRST KILDARE MEMORY?

The first week I moved to Kill, I started playing for the local gaelic football team and enjoyed it. I started playing gaelic for Kildare when I was about 13/14 and I kind of had a decision to make because I was playing football and gaelic at the same time, and games were starting to clash with each other so I had to make a decision about which one I wanted to play. And I almost nearly did decide to play gaelic, but I had a coach from Naas and he kind of said stick with the football and see what happens. And that’s when all the trials started happening for me over in England.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE THING ABOUT THE COUNTY?

Obviously where I live in Kill, you could walk around and kind of know everybody. It’s a real homely place, people are quite interested in what I’m doing.

WHAT WOULD BE YOUR IDEAL DAY OUT IN KILDARE?

Usually I’d go to Kildare Village. To be honest, I’m not one for doing much! I like just chilling out, seeing my friends, that kind of thing.

FAVOURITE RESTAURANT?

I quite like the Lemongrass in Naas.

FAVOURITE KILDARE SPORTING MEMORY?

I played in a Kildare county final with Kill, I think it was 2009, against Celbridge  in the grounds in Newbridge. We were level in the last minute and we scored a goal in the last minute to win it.

CAREER HIGHLIGHT SO FAR?

Obviously playing at Old Trafford for Man United was a big thing for me. But before all the trials in England I played with DDSL in the Kennedy Cup. 

We were 1-0 down at half-time, and we came out in the second half and I scored two and we won the Kennedy Cup which was, at that age, the biggest cup to win in Ireland.

HOW DID YOU GET THE BIG BREAK IN PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL?

I never really thought of playing soccer professionally. I was just kind of playing enjoying myself but you never know who is watching. 

For me, it was just a cup game I was playing for Naas against a Dublin team in the Premier Division, and everybody expected us obviously to lose.

But  we ended up winning and I ended up scoring two goals, and there was somebody there actually watching somebody else on the other team. I ended up playing well so that’s how it all started.

PLANS FOR 2018?

I'm on loan with Dundalk until June, going back over to England and see what the plan is then.