Coach has 'loved every minute' at National League champions Chesterfield

Spireites coach Paddy Byrne has ‘loved every minute’ of his time at Chesterfield this season.
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Belfast-born Byrne was added to Paul Cook’s backroom staff earlier in the campaign when Kieron Dyer was recovering from his liver transplant.

The UEFA A licensed coach has an impressive CV, working at the likes of Rangers, Everton and Wigan Athletic.

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He told the DT: “I met Gary a couple of years ago on a course and we have remained in constant contact ever since. We share similar ideas on football in terms of how we think the game should be played. When Kieron was unwell an opportunity came up and I had a coffee with the gaffer and Robbo and it progressed from there.

Spireites coach Paddy Byrne, pictured right.Spireites coach Paddy Byrne, pictured right.
Spireites coach Paddy Byrne, pictured right.

“I have learnt so much from all of the staff, the gaffer has been unbelievable with me, and it has just been a fantastic eight or nine months. I have loved every minute of it. I could not be more grateful to Robbo and the gaffer for bringing me in. Kieron has been unbelievable with me since he came back and we are made up that he is back to full health.”

Byrne, who joked that others will probably describe him as ‘loud’, explained that coaching responsibilities at the Blues are shared out.

He said: “One day Kieron might lead and I might assist and Robbo will do the extras and then the roles will change every day. We all want to coach, we all want to learn, and it is a really good working environment.

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“I love coaching, I love being on the grass. Where we are different as coaches is that I like to put together the pieces of the jigsaw, Robbo loves watching the opposition, Kieron loves watching us, I love being on the grass working with the players. The three of us are very similar in our opinions and approach but different in how we deliver those things.”

Byrne, who was Macclesfield’s first-team coach before joining Chesterfield, said that seeing the work on the training ground being successfully transferred into a match is the ‘best feeling.’

He said: “If you look at the games we had this year, Portsmouth and Leyton Orient in particular, we drove down to watch them play, and then we worked with the players all week on the grass and we were saying ‘this is how we believe we win this game’ and then we went ahead and won those games that way - it is so satisfying. But we can only put together an idea of how we are going to do it and then it is up to the players to implement that. The players deserve every plaudit that comes their way because they have worked so hard.

“The players have been unbelievable. It is always daunting, no matter what level you go into, to work with players. The players have been fantastic, anything you ask of them, they deliver. They train so hard every single day, they will challenge themselves, they will challenge each other, we will challenge them, they will challenge us, and I think you have seen the success of the group at the end of this season.”

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Byrne cut his playing career in Ireland short through ‘choice’ at a young age after realising he had a real passion for coaching.

He added: “When I got to 24 I started coaching and I was really enjoying it so I thought if I committed to it at a young age I might have a good career and I think so far it is going okay. I would like to think I have put the hard yards in, working my way up from junior football to men’s football and then moving over to Wigan and then Everton and then coming here. I am looking forward to having the opportunity to work in the Football League with Chesterfield and see where we can go this time next year.”

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