Andy Lyons insists a move to the UK remains his ambition, despite making the trip across the Liffey to sign for Shamrock Rovers.
The Republic of Ireland U21 full-back has signed a 'multi-year' deal at Tallaght Stadium, having left bitter rivals Bohemians.
Lyons follows in the footsteps of Danny Mandroiu, who made the same switch a year ago and received a none-too-pleasant reception upon his return to Dalymount Park last year.
He made his league debut as a callow 17-year old in 2018, and went on to make 77 appearances for the Gypsies.
Lyons had attracted interest from across the Irish Sea, but rumours that a compensation package was off-putting to potential suitors were quickly scotched by those within Dalymount Park.
“I’m absolutely buzzing to get the deal over the line," Lyons told the Rovers website, "It’s a massive club, obviously in everything they’ve shown in the last few years with their league titles and European runs, and I’m delighted to be part of that now. I’m delighted to be here.
"I got a call from Stephen Bradley and once I started chatting to him and hearing his plans and vision for me, that was something I was really excited about.
"England and the UK is my ambition, but he outlined what his plan is for me and I think this is the perfect club for me. Especially at the age I’m at now, going to a full-time set up was something that was big for me.
"There is that European exposure and hopefully some leagues and cups as well. It’s definitely going to aid my development and Stephen has a clear plan in place for me so I’m looking forward to it.
"There was a bit of interest from the UK but I just felt that the next step for me was a full-time club, and the league champions – there’s no better place to go. They’ve won trophies and there’s the European factor as well. They played six games last season and obviously this year we’re hoping to win a few games in Europe and push on to that next level.
"My time at Bohs was brilliant and I’ve a lot of friends there. I think not getting Europe with Bohs was very disappointing and my experience last year meant that I just really want to go back there and experience that again. It’s about making that next step for me in my development in my career.
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