League of Ireland Player of the Week: Conan Byrne - St Patrick's Athletic

The winger stepped up to the plate in the absence of Killian Brennan and was the focal point of an emphatic victory over the Saints' bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers

Position Midfielder
Age 28
Nationality Irish
Appearances 23
Goals 9
Cards 0
While the likes of Killian Brennan, Chris Forrester and Christy Fagan continually steal the headlines week in week out, it was one of St Patrick’s Athletic’s unsung heroes who starred as the league leaders ended their miserable record at Tallaght Stadium on Friday evening. Conan Byrne, who has played all twenty-three of the Saints’ league fixtures to date, joined a select group of players to score four goals in a single Airtricity League game as Liam Buckley’s side maintained their one point lead at the summit.

Since the south Dublin venue opened its doors in 2009, Pat's had lost six of of their eight visits to Tallaght including a comprehensive 3-0 defeat in May. However, 28-year-old Byrne was the driving force and inspiration behind their potentially season defining victory over their fierce rivals, a result which all but ends the Hoops’ aspirations of mounting a title challenge of their own.

Byrne has been an ever present in the heart of the Pats midfield since moving to Inchicore at the start of the season and now has nine league goals to his name as he continues to excel and maintain the Saints’ strong title bid. It didn’t take the former Shelbourne player long to make his mark on Friday as he placed his low-strike into the corner past Richard Brush after just 12 minutes before calmly beating the Rovers 'keeper from the penalty spot ten minutes before the interval.

It won’t be a game the travelling fans will forget quickly as Byrne converted his second spot-kick in the absence of the suspended Brennan after the hosts were reduced to ten men before he completed his unique achievement by pouncing on the loose ball in the area.

The Pat's midfielder joins Rory Patterson, Jason Byrne, Pat Hoban and teammate Chris Forrester in netting a treble this season and as he continues to go about his business in a quiet but hugely effective manner, Byrne is quickly becoming one of the standouts performers of the season.