My Player of the Season so far has been Andy Geggan. However, Michael already covered the defensive midfielder extensively in his article. So, I took it upon myself to voice my opinion on the most improved man in the Dunfermline Athletic team, Shaun Byrne.
Byrne has been comfortable as an attacking midfielder. Although, he had stiff competition to break into the first 11 at the beginning of the campaign as he was sat on the bench by Josh Falkingham and the stand-in captain Geggan.
It was only when the Pars succumbed to long-term injuries to Ryan Williamson and captain Callum Fordyce that Byrne got his chance as Geggan filled in defence.
Just watching him play on a regular basis in his preferred position shows just how far he has come. The Kirkcaldy-born playmaker has become more confident on the ball and more physical in his approach. His defensive displays have improved and this was most noticeable in the League Cup tie away at Tannadice. Byrne and Falkingham harried their Dundee United counterparts for 120 minutes and put in key interceptions and tackles all night.
In the final third is where he has thrived and it has always been Shaun’s forte. He is always looking forward to creating chances, threading passes and looking for pockets of space to run into. He has managed to continue this when he has had the game time under Allan Johnston, even chipping in with the odd goal.
At 22, he has his whole career ahead of him. So, improving his overall game in central midfield will make him a real asset and will garner attention from clubs both north and south of the border.
Unfortunately, his playing time has dried up a bit in the last few weeks despite barely putting a foot wrong. As he continues to work hard in training, it means Falkingham will have to be at his best to stay in that starting XI.
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