Emma Byrne is determined to revive her top-flight career after being let go by Arsenal.

The Republic of Ireland international believes she can help Albion Women go straight through Super League 2 and join the elite.

The process starts on Sunday when they play their first Spring Series contest at London Bees.

Byrne won WSL1 11 times with the Gunners and was not expecting to be released.

But a combination of agent Dennis Bingham and the Irish FA’s Brian Carey helped put her in touch with Albion boss George Parris and the result is a playing deal which also includes the chance to do some coaching.

She told The Argus: “It was a bit of a shock to be leaving Arsenal because I was thinking of staying on for another year.

“When they didn’t renew my contract I had to think about whether I wanted to carry on playing or develop my career.

“When I spoke to Brighton, they are helping me do both.

“It was perfect. I get to continue my career and develop my coaching.

“I wanted to play for a couple more years and I didn’t have an agent.

“I’m excited. As a goalkeeper, it’s not about me dropping down a league because I will still have to do my job the same as I do in the top league and maybe even more so, who knows?”

The Spring Series fills the void as WSL moves from a summer to winter season.

Promotion and relegation do not come into play until the WSL2 season starts in the autumn.

And that is where Byrne will look to get back among the elite.

She said: “We will start with ambition. That was one of the selling points for me.

“It’s a really ambitious club both on the male and female sides. The teams are looking for promotion straight away without thinking about just staying in the league or getting to a certain position.

“We want to get promoted and I know as a club they feel strongly about that. We are probably putting ourselves under pressure to say that but I think we can handle it.

“I was asked about reaching WSL1 and I am thinking about Champions League status. There is no reason why a club like this can’t.

The Argus:

“We have got the support of the club and I think that is the main thing.”

Byrne does not believe the team who eventually go up would need to fear stepping into WSL1.

She said: “There is a big gulf between WSL2 and two or three top teams in WSL1 but I certainly think we would be able to hold our own in the league if we got promoted. And, of course, the club will build on that.”

Albion love to pass out from the back and Faye Baker, the No.1 last season, is very proficient with the ball at her feet.

Byrne, having grown up as an outfield player in her home village of Leixlip near Dublin, will buy into that.

She said: “I started as an outfield player so it was a natural thing for me to do.

“I like to play a high line and read the game and sweep in behind them.That’s probably what I do best.

“I was midfield or centre-back until I was about 17. I played for my school and for my county.

“When I was first recruited by Ireland, it was as a centre-back.

“I feel like you need to be good outfield if you are going to be a goalkeeper. We are the instigators of everything if you want to play possession-based football, which Brighton do.”