“We need to be well organised and structured”


BRAY WANDERERS v BOHEMIANS (Friday July 18th, Carlisle Grounds, 7.45pm)

Bohemians have been focusing on tighter organisation and playing further up the pitch as they prepare for their first match under caretaker manager Owen Heary.

They go to Bray determined to start a run of results that will ensure their survival in the league’s Premier Division.

“I’ve told the team it doesn’t matter how we play once we get results. We may be overplaying at times at the back and then leaving ourselves open when the ball breaks,” said Heary.


“We need to be tighter at the back and get higher up the park, playing in the last third more than in our own back third. If you look at the strongest teams in the league, they clear their lines and play further up the pitch, and we need to do that too.”

Adapting from the short-passing style of play that has been the team’s trademark should not be a problem, according to Heary.

“The lads know they have to defend with their lives. They know where we are, and they know what I’m talking about. We’ll learn a lot on Friday about whether we can make it happen.”

Bray represent strong opposition, with some very experienced and some big players, Heary notes, though they have been conceding goals as well as scoring them. “It will be a tough game but we’ll have no fear going there. We need to believe in ourselves. We need to be well organised and structured,” said Heary. “The lads have shown in training they’re raring to go.”

Heary has reduced the numbers in senior team training to concentrate on the 22 players who are most likely to feature in the remaining games.

Aaron Callaghan’s last signing, defender Mark Byrne (22) from Crumlin United, has joined the squad but Owen Heary hopes to add a strong, experienced centre-half and he has a shortlist of candidates.

Dinny Corcoran’s return to Bohemians’ forward line is welcome; he has already shown that he can be an effective partner with Chris Lyons, says Heary.

The caretaker manager is in the relatively fortunate position of having his full squad available for Friday. Ciaran Nangle, Stephen Traynor and Ryan McEvoy (23 on Friday) have returned to training, having all been sidelined with ankle injuries.

Andy Mulligan has returned from the World University Games in Russia, where the Ireland team had its best-ever finish in fifth place, ending their campaign with a 3-1 defeat of Ukraine last Sunday.

Heary himself will not be in the dug-out on Friday; his suspension for last Friday’s sending-off as a player applies to him as a manager and will keep him out for three matches in total.  He has brought in under-19 coach Graham O’Hanlon,  who has worked closely with all the former under-age Bohemians, to run operations alongside first-team coach Terry Butler.  

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