Richie Byrne brings professional skills to Horsham campaign

Horsham's new signing Richie Byrne. Pic: Graham Carter SUS-150402-110004002
Horsham's new signing Richie Byrne. Pic: Graham Carter SUS-150402-110004002

Hornets have given their fight against relegation a boost by signing former Scottish Cup finalist Richie Byrne.

The former Aberdeen star has represented his country (Ireland B) and played with joint-manager Anthony Storey professionally for Dunfermline.

Byrne, a personal trainer, has now retired from full-time football but plans to help the younger players improve to get the club out of trouble.

He made a promising debut for Hornets in their 2-2 draw with Tooting on Tuesday.

Byrne, 33, said: “All the lads are disappointed in terms of the result. Our performance in the first half was very very good. The distribution and passing was excellent.

“I thought we more than deserved a win. It was the first time I met the players tonight! It was a quick introduction and then straight in.

“It was enjoyable for me to get back playing. I’ve done my coaching badges and every coach wants to be a player!”

Byrne revealed: “At this stage I’m at in my life it’s important for me to teach people and to help them get better.

“That’s why Anthony’s brought me into the team, to help the younger guys with their performance on the pitch.

“There’s a very good group of players here and there’s definitely four or five very good players. Most of it is organisation and knowing where to stand.

“It’s always good to have an older head on the pitch advising.

“It’s a very good group of lads here and there’s more than enough talent to push on and do very well.”

Anthony Storey praised: “Richie has done us a big favour in coming down to help us out and was excellent tonight. He knows the game inside out.

“But it was a step forward from Saturday against Redhill when in the second half we lost our shape.

“It takes time to gel and our aim is to keep this team in the Ryman League.”

Tom Gilbert and Lewis Hamilton will have fitness tests ahead of this Saturday’s home game against Chipstead.