Stuart Byrne: Why this Dundalk side are "the best I've seen" in the League of Ireland

Ex-Shelbourne midfielder discusses their achievement with Off The Ball

Dundalk, David McMillan,

Dundalk's David McMillan celebrates at the end of the game ©INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Stuart Byrne says this current Dundalk team is the best he's ever seen gracing the League of Ireland.

Stephen Kenny's side secured their third Premier Division title in a row by beating Bohemians on Sunday and have also achieved unprecedented success for an Irish side in the Europa League group stages.

Speaking on Off The Ball, Stuey puts this Dundalk crop of players and management at the top of the all-time list of those teams he has been able to witness playing the game domestically in Ireland.

"They're the best I've seen. I didn't get the opportunity to see this wonderful Shamrock Rovers four-in-a-row side, although I do know some of the guys like Pat Byrne, Mick Byrne, Dermot Keely, Paul Doolin... I didn't get to see him the flesh, although from what I understand they were some side," he said.

"From down the years watching League of Ireland football, playing it and having come away from it and watched from the outside, I would have been quite critical of some of the teams I would have seen until quite recently. But this side is special. They're fantastic."  

He also believes that the European run is proof of how good this team are, given that they have beaten Maccabi Tel Aviv, drawn away to AZ Alkmaar and were only narrowly edged out by Zenit Saint Petersburg so far in a group stages that campaign that still has three matches to go.

"I think the fact that they've gone and done it in Europe at such a high level is real proof of where they are. And to me, the proof of top League of Ireland teams are the ones that go and do it in Europe because that really is the holy grail and takes them out of their comfort zone," he said.