'It's within touching distance' - Byrne driven by pursuit of goal record

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The former Shelbourne and Bohemians ace has dropped down divisions but he remains keen on clinching the all-time top scoring record

Jason Byrne has his eye on Brendan Bradley's goalscoring record after signing for Cabinteely ahead of the 2017 season.

The former Republic of Ireland international, who turns 39 in February, is just 14 shy of Bradley's League of Ireland tally, which stands at 235 goals. 

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And he has admitted that the pursuit of the elusive goal record is what encouraged him to postpone his retirement.

"I would have been retired five years ago only for the record. It’s within touching distance and I suppose it’s my heart ruling my head," Byrne told the Irish Sun.

"I’ll give it another go. If it’s meant to be, it’s meant to be. If it’s not, I can put my hands up and say I tried. But to get so close, I don’t want to have regrets in years to come.

"It would be different if I had a lot of injuries but I’m still injury-free. I’m not as fit as I once was but the hunger is still there.

"I don’t want to embarrass myself but 'Devo' (Pat Devlin) believes in me and I believe in myself. We’ll give it a good crack."

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Byrne, who counts Bray Wanderers, Shelbourne, Bohemians and Cardiff City among his former clubs, dropped down a division in 2016 to join UCD.

The Dublin native made 17 appearances - mostly from the bench - and scored four goals for the Students last term.

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