FORMER Manchester United youngster Danny Byrne spent years rubbing shoulders with some of theworld’s finest footballers.
But after a spell of playing alongside United greats like R’yan Giggs, Paul Scholes and Rio Ferdinand, the 20-year-old’s world was turned upside down when he was shown the door at Old Trafford last May.
A period in the footballing wilderness followed as the midfilder tried to pick up the pieces after his release from the Premiership giants.
Then along came Weymouth boss Steve Johnson to throw him a life-line and hand the 20-year-old afresh start on the south coast.
And following a couple of stunning goals for his new club, Byrne says he is grateful to the Terras chief for giving him a chance.
“I’m just pleased to be enjoying my football again,” he told Echosport.
“I’d been with Manchester United since I was a young lad so leaving there was hard to take.
“I’d been playing at reserve level when my contract expired and I was told it was not being renewed.
“It was a big culture shock leaving Old Trafford because you’ve got the best facilities around you virtually every need is catered for.
“I went on trial at a few clubs but could not get settled anywhere so when Weymouth came in for me I thought ‘what have I got to lose’.
“My confidence was quite low before Steve (Johnson) asked me to join which I guess is natural.
“To suddenly be out in the cold and without a club is hard and you do start to doubt yourself.
“But I’m getting that confidence back now and, to be honest, I want to try and put all that Man United stuff behind me.
“I think of myself now as a Weymouth player, not a former Man United one, although it was a good experience playing with some of the best players in the world.
“All I’m thinking of now is helping Weymouth win promotion this season – they’ve given me a chance and I want to repay that faith.”
Johnson said Byrne is set to sign a contract with the Terras, running initially until the end of this season.
“Danny has great ability, you only have witnessed his goals against Weston and Hayes the other day to see that,” he said.
“Some of the tricks he does in training have to be seen to be believed, they are unbelievable.
“In fact, Danny now stays behind after training to work with the younger players and show them how it’s done.
“That’s good to see and a measure of how much I think he’s enjoying it here.
“Hopefully the fans will get behind with him even when things don’t work out for him because I’m sure he can be a important player for us.”