Interview with "Packie Byrne"
1. When did you join Athenry FC & when did you leave?
- Played with Athenry all my life from underage, started with the great Johnny Delaney. I finished up when I moved to Dublin in 2015 after winning the leauge, to this day I really miss it.
2. Who was the biggest influence on you?
- Would have to be Peter Gilhooley, he managed me from U13 onwards and I wasn't easy to deal with. Himself and Tommy Fahy are legend. Looking back now they would have had a massive influence on me.
3. What did you achieve in your time at the Club?
- Lucky to have been part of great teams with some top players both at underage and at senior level:
Won four leagues titles (1 included promotion to the Premier) two Connacht Cups and two Michael Byrne Cups - winning together at underage was special we stuck together until the end and many of the lads had great successes at senior level.
4. What are your most memorable moments with Athenry FC?
- Winning the Double in 2008, which included scoring the league clincher vs West. Dounsie's cross practically feel onto my big head (Great player) and I will never forget that year. United also won the European cup
After coming home from living in New Zealand, Seamie Crowe asked me to get involved again and we won the league that year (2015) after a good few years of not winning it. Winning Manager's Player of the Year that season was a nice way to say goodbye.
5. What did you enjoy the most about playing for Athenry FC?
- The craic was unreal great memories. Pulling on the Jersey, I loved every minute of it & the great atmosphere in the club is still there to this day.
6. Who was the toughest opponent you ever played against?
- Alan Keane, I played against him every lunchtime in the tech then numerous times again underage and senior vs great Mervue sides. He was a great player and had a great career with Sligo Rovers.
7. In all the squads you have been part of can you name the following:
Funny Guy - Spanky even in bad times he would get you laughing.
Tough as Nails - My brother Emmet, himself and myself used to be fleecing each other ever since I can remember out the back of the house.
Fastest player - The great Johnny Mernagh speed merchant (Great Player)
Most Skillful - Jamie O'Driscoll - Class act.
Most Grumpy - probably myself I must say but have to go to Seamie Crowe the big grump☺️
Best Player - That is a tough one really is, Cathal Fahy so consistent played with him all my years from underage through to senior.
8. From all the players you have played with, name your strongest five a side team which includes yourself:
Goalkeeper - Dave McDonagh
Defender - Emmet Byrne
Midfielder - Jamie O'Driscoll
Striker - Cathal Fahy
Manager - Peter Gilhooley
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