LIGHTS, CAMERA, GOALMOUTH ACTION…  Jason Byrne poses at ITB Blanchardstown for photographer David Lane

Jason Byrne hopes he will be in tears again when the time comes for him to leave Bohemians for a second time, writes FRANKIE LALLY.

In his first spell with the Gypsies, Byrne picked up back-to-back league titles as well as winning the FAI Cup, EA Sports Cup and Setanta Sports Cup in his three seasons with the club.

He played – and scored – in his final game for the club in a 3-1 win over Dundalk at Dalymount Park in October 2010 and was visibly emotional as he walked off the pitch at the final whistle.

When he first joined in 2008, the striker initially sparked mixed emotions from supporters due to his time at rivals Shelbourne, but quickly became a fans’ favourite and scored the goals which wrapped up the league title away to Drogheda United in his first year with the Gypsies.

Now, in the twilight of his playing career and under the leadership of close friend and former Bohs and Shels team-mate Owen Heary, Byrne wants to create some new memories for the Bohs supporters.

The 36-year-old said: “I’m delighted to be back at Bohs. I had a great three years here and it was tough to leave those memories behind. Hopefully the next time I leave Bohs I’ll be emotional again and we’ll have won a couple of trophies.

“If I leave crying next time I’ll be happy because it will mean we’ve won a few trophies.

“I’m really enjoying pre-season with Owen – he’s been tough but I can’t wait for the season to start. We need to get more games under our belt to get ready, but we have a couple coming up so by the time the season starts we should be flying and we will be ready to go.”

Byrne spent last season with Bray Wanderers and racked up 17 goals in all competitions, leaving him just 28 goals shy of Brendan Bradley’s goalscoring record which stands at 235.

That record was one of the driving factors behind Heary getting ‘Jayo’ back for a second spell at Dalymount Park.

Byrne explained: “Owen has been a good friend of mine for years so he was one of the main factors in me coming back to Bohs. He told me that he would like to take me back and that he knew I could do a job for him. He said that the one thing Bohs were lacking last year was goals and that I could score them.

“He told me I could get closer to the record here and he just kept harping on about that record! He really wanted me to come here and there is no other club I would have signed for, especially with Owen as the boss.

“If I keep on thinking about the record going into every game and thinking I’ve got to score, then I’m not going to score. I’m just going to go out and play my game and not think about it too much. Being a striker is instinctive so the more you think about it, the more indecision you’re going to have.”

The veteran admits it is going to take some time to get used to seeing his old Bohs and Shels team-mate barking out orders from the touchline rather than the pitch, but Byrne reckons that under Heary’s guidance Bohs can flourish this season.

“It’s a bit different having him as the boss rather than a team-mate,” he explained. “We still haven’t seen his aggression yet but I suppose it is only pre-season. I’m sure when games come and we might be losing one, we’ll see a different side to him. But so far, so good.

“I think we’re going to be really competitive this year. We’ve got a young, hungry squad and I know Owen will have them all working hard. Based on the last few weeks that I’ve been here I can say we will definitely be in the top half of the table.”

Bohs take on Byrne’s former club Bray in the Leinster Senior Cup at Dalymount Park on Saturday but the Seagulls will be without the man who Byrne worked under both last year and during his first spell at the club – Pat Devlin was controversially replaced by Alan Mathews in January.

Byrne said: “It’s a strange one. When people talk about Bray they talk about Devo – he is Bray.

“It will be weird that he’s not there in charge but that’s the way that football goes. I don’t know what happened behind the scenes at the club and I’m sure there is more that went on that we haven’t been told about.

“No one is guaranteed anything at any club in this league anymore, it’s all just one-year deals. I don’t know if I’d still be at Bray even if Devo were still there. We hadn’t talked about it and nothing was set. Owen came in for me from early doors and I was just happy to get a deal done with Bohs.”

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