Cork City FC are delighted to announce that Alec Byrne has signed his first professional contract with the club.
Speaking to CorkCityFC.ie, Byrne said: “I am delighted and honoured to sign a professional contract with Cork City FC. It was a huge step for me to go from the 17s to the 19s and its another step up again, so hopefully I can adapt to it. I played with Carrigaline United since I was 6, so they have played a major role in my career.”
“The step-up has been a massive one for me, a real learning curve, training with the first team. The lads have been great in making me feel comfortable and helping me settle in, so it has been an easy environment to come into.”
“This year, I want to settle in and then push on next year and try to challenge for a place in the squad.”
City boss John Caulfield welcomed the news, saying: “We are delighted that Alec has signed his first professional contract with the club. We feel he is a player with tremendous ability and has the potential to make the breakthrough in time. He came in and trained at times last year, and we intend bringing him in more this year. He still has a good bit to do, but he is following the pathway, completing his education and looking to progress his footballing career.”
“We are investing in our young players; in Alec’s case in a player who we see making the transition to the first team over the next 18 months or so. In the immediate future, he will keep playing with the 19s and we will monitor him and help him build towards the step up to the first team.”
“It is a breakthrough for the club as well, in the sense that we have been working over a number of year to build and develop a pathway to the first team for our young players and this is the next step in that. We are trying to identify talented players coming through and reward them with professional contracts; as we know in other leagues, players would be put on contracts at 16, whereas that has not been very common here. This is the first year we have done this, and it is a process we would like to build on into the future.”
“There is a lot of talent in Cork and that is a testament to the work being done by the clubs in the Cork Schoolboy’s League, in Alec’s case Carrigaline United. They come to us then and we work to develop them further, which Alec has done. He has done well here and at international level with the Irish underage sides. What we are trying to do is to nurture the talent he has and hope he sticks with his education and follows the pathway we have set out.”