“This is a huge opportunity for players”

Bohemians huddle - by Martin Doherty

​BOHEMIANS v CABINTEELY
EA Sports Cup
Tuesday April 4th, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

The chance to be included in Saturday’s squad against Sligo Rovers is the prize on offer for players promoted to the Bohemians first team tomorrow.

Manager Keith Long has seen his options curtailed by injuries – with six first-team starters currently sidelined.

Bohs were already without Ian Morris (knee) and Dinny Corcoran (knee) as well as long-term absentees Eoin Wearen (cruciate) and Ismahil Akinade (surgery to remove spleen).

They were joined on the sidelines when Jamie Doyle (knee) and Shane Supple (hip) were both forced off in Friday’s disappointing 4-0 defeat to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Morris and Doyle went for scans on their injuries today and the club is awaiting the results of those.

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Supple is ruled out of tomorrow’s game and will continue to receive treatment before he is reassessed.

Corcoran will not be risked against Cabinteely but it is hoped he is nearing a return to action.

With one eye on Saturday’s SSE Airtricity League clash away to Sligo Rovers, Long is not prepared to take unnecessary risks.

His side slipped to fifth after Friday’s loss and the Gypsies will travel to The Showgrounds facing a Bit O’Red team battling for points.

With that in mind, players lacking game-time and under-19 starlets will be given the opportunity to stake their claim tomorrow.

Expected to be included in the matchday squad are promising Ireland under-17 internationals Brandon Kavanagh, Dominic Peppard and Kian Clarke.

Brandon Perry, Cian Fay, Dylan Thornton and Paddy Kirk are among those who could be promoted from Graham Lawlor’s Bohemians under-19s.

Long said: “We have a very good first XI when we have everyone fit and healthy.

“We just can’t afford to lose anymore bodies. Our injuries have effectively dictated who can play.

“But this is a huge opportunity for players from the under-19s to step up.

“It’s a competitive game and with the injuries we have, there are places up for grabs in our squad for Saturday too.

“It’s also a chance for players who have been in and around the first team – the likes of Dylan Hayes – to get a bit of game-time under their belt and show us what they can do.

“We want to win the game, but the chance to be included on Saturday is an extra bit of motivation.”

Against Cabinteely, Bohs face a team flying high in the First Division.

Pat Devlin’s side will be licking their wounds after they squandered a two-goal lead and a chance to go top of the league in their 3-3 draw away to Athlone Town.

They are a club with some familiar faces too, with two-time Bohemian league winner Jason Byrne in their ranks, and former Bohs assistant manager Graham O’Hanlon on their backroom team.

Long added: “They’re doing very well and will be disappointed they’re not go top of the table.

“They’re going to give us a game and it’s up to our players to show they’re up for it.”

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