INTERVIEW: Relishing the new opportunity – Jacob Byrns


Box Hill United senior men’s latest recruit Jacob Byrns said he is pleased with how things have progressed for him following a busy couple of weeks.


After a mid-season switch to Box Hill from Heidelberg United, Byrns clocked his first minutes in new club colours as a late substitute in the 2-1 NPL2 Round 16 win against Whittlesea Ranges.


Last Saturday against Northcote City, the youngster was forced into action in the first-half itself, following an injury to Nino Lacagnina. Byrns scored the solitary goal for Box Hill, who served up a game of two halves but unfortunately went down 3-1 against their derby rivals.


Looking back at a bittersweet two weeks of action, the 19-year-old said, “I am loving it. It’s a good set-up here [at Wembley Park]. I am enjoying working under Con (senior men’s head coach). It’s [been] a whole new experience moving to Box Hill.


“As a striker, it’s always good to score. It turned out to be a bit of a consolation [against Northcote]. But coming to a new team and scoring in what was my [second appearance], it was a big weight off my shoulders.


“It all happened pretty quickly [against Northcote]. It was Nino who got injured, and Con did not say much. He just said, ‘Get out there and do your thing’, because it all happened so quickly.”


Prior to his Box Hill rendezvous, Byrns spent the majority of his formative years with the Bergers. He made his senior debut in 2018 against Northcote, and went on to collect runners-up medals in the Dockerty Cup (2018) and the FV Community Shield (2019) while at Olympic Village.


A quick frontman with an eye for goal, the naturally left-footed striker incidentally had spells with Northcote and Whittlesea as a junior as well.


Seeing the comic side of several coincidental moments in his early Box Hill days, Byrns said, “It was funny, because I have a few mates at Whittlesea Ranges. So, making my debut against them was pretty cool.


“Being a part of the Heidelberg senior set-up helped me develop as a player. There were some amazing players. But now I am relishing this new opportunity and loving working under Con. I am looking forward to the rest of the season.”


The young striker is now motivated to put in the hard yards despite the competition for spots in the attacking ranks at Box Hill, and added, “In training, you have got to train the way you play. To make sure you are on the team sheet, you have to prove that you are up to it, and train as best as you can to prove to [the coach] that you are ready, come matchday.


“There are some good players up front [for Box Hill] – Sergio, Izzy, Rowan and Delarno. So, you just need to compete with them to make sure you are in the starting-XI. That’s good to have.”


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