Home   Medway   Sport   Article

The Shouting Men column with Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne

It was great to get another victory last Saturday.

Wins breed confidence and right now it doesn’t matter how they come. Wycombe cancelled out our game plan a bit and we didn’t have much of the ball, but we won and that’s the most important thing no matter how you do it. You would take a scruffy win.

I was gutted to see Billy Bingham go off injured after a bad two years with injuries. He was brilliant against Scunthorpe but then picked up a bit of an ankle injury. He came back in at Wycombe but then injured his calf.

Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne Picture: Ady Kerry
Gillingham midfielder Mark Byrne Picture: Ady Kerry

He is always a character around the dressing room, a good lad, always into the banter and hopefully it’s not too bad. He is a brilliant player, comfortable on the ball and he is strong.

He’s a big loss for us but we have others who have come in, like DJ (Oldaker), and Deano (Parrett), who was brilliant the other day when he came on. It was his best performance for us this season, for me. He drove us forward.

In our last home game, the 1-0 win over Scunthorpe, I managed to get back on the scoresheet.

It was a nice goal. Leo (Da Silva Lopes) did well, he came inside and laid it off and I just had to concentrate because it took a bit of a bobble before I took the shot.

I don’t really score tap-ins but I would take five of them if I could. They always seem to be out of the area and my last tap-in must have been against Rochdale, my first league goal for the Gills.

We have had a few new faces in the team recently and that’s good competition for everyone. It keeps people on their toes.

Mark Byrne was key to bringing Ricky Holmes to Priestfield and he believes the former Charlton man will have a big impact
Mark Byrne was key to bringing Ricky Holmes to Priestfield and he believes the former Charlton man will have a big impact

Ricky Holmes is one of those. He is a great player who I know well, and once we get him back fit he is going to make a massive difference.

I was at Barnet with Ricky and he used to stay over with me. He used to be my personal chef. He wasn’t a bad cook, he would do my food and then I would do the washing up!

The fans will really like him, he gets people on the edge of their seat and is someone who will get us up the pitch, a bit like when we had Sean Clare. We have missed that.

I have a busy summer to look forward to as I’m getting married and we have a stag do just after the season is finished, but first and foremost it’s about the football. We need to get safe.

I’m not sure if 50 points will be enough, maybe this year it will be higher because teams around the bottom are picking up and teams in the middle are getting dragged in. A win on Saturday would be massive for us.

Blackpool might be getting docked points, so they might get dragged in, too.

It’s Fleetwood this weekend. They have done all right, but we did well against them this season at home, beating them 3-0. It was quite a memorable day for me.

My family don’t always have the chance to come over from Ireland to watch me play but that day there were 30 of them in the Rainham End!

My missus had arranged a surprise birthday party for me that night and I never knew they were watching. I nearly scored towards the end of the game and they were walking down the steps. They were worried I would see them but the first I knew was when we went out at night and I spotted my uncle sat at the bar where we were heading!

It was a great night, a special birthday, and fair play to the missus. It was great that we were also celebrating a win.

Fleetwood are doing okay now, just outside the play-offs, but if we can get anything from the game on Saturday it will be massive.

Football friends. Joey Barton and Max Ehmer were mates at QPR Picture: Ady Kerry
Football friends. Joey Barton and Max Ehmer were mates at QPR Picture: Ady Kerry

Joey Barton is their manager and Max Ehmer always tells everyone he was one of his mates at QPR. He

says he knows him really well and that if anyone wants anything he would always be able to give him a call!

I don’t know much about him but apparently he was turned down at Nottingham Forest when he was a young player because of his height. I haven’t had that problem since I was young.

It happened to me when I was about 14. I was told I was too small for one of the teams. There were a lot of players who were six foot-odd, but as I got older it has never been an issue.

You just have to stick to your beliefs and get stuck in.

Even now people think I won’t win a header, but I can leap well and I put that down to the Gaelic football I used to play. I used to play a lot. I think people think because of my height I can’t jump and it surprises a few.

Mark Byrne's answers our quickfire quiz (7484169)
Mark Byrne's answers our quickfire quiz (7484169)

I couldn’t believe what I was seeing when Chelsea goalkeeper Kepa Arrizabalaga refused to be substituted in the League Cup final on Sunday.

It’s not something I have ever seen before. It was ridiculous to be disrespecting your manager and your team-mates like that.

The manager Maurizio Sarri said it was a misunderstanding but I don’t believe that!

He should have come off. He’s disrespected the manager in front of 80,000 people – they both know that.

If it was our keeper I would have bit his head off. The captain should have stood in and told him to go off and maybe the manager should have stopped the game until he did.

There have been a lot of things said about player-power at Chelsea over the last few years and it just shows what it is like. I think if John Terry was there it wouldn’t have happened, he would have got dragged off.

The current captain said he didn’t know what was happening, but everyone in the stadium did.

More by this author

Close This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.Learn More