BOHEMIANS v LIMERICK (Dalymount Park, Friday July 5th, 7.45pm)

Bohemians will test their resolve to improve their league home form when they welcome Limerick to Dalymount Park for the first time in seven years.

Manager Aaron Callaghan has taken much encouragement from his side’s two performances against Derry City since the season break.

In last Friday’s league game at the Brandywell, Bohemians “deserved at least a point” in Callaghan’s view.


“Even Derry people commented on how well we played,” he said. “There was a little bit of naivete in the defending at times but it was against the run of play that they scored.

“We got back into it when Kevin [Devaney] scored and we might have nicked another. We kept going to the end and I’m a bit disappointed not to have got anything from it.”

On Monday in the EA Sports Cup against the same opposition, but in Dalymount, Bohemians put in “as good a performance at home as any all season”, according to the manager.

“We started well and we didn’t concede until the 82nd minute,” said Callaghan. “But when you look at Derry’s bench and at ours, you see the difference between the squads.”

Callaghan was very pleased with his débutants. Argentian Santiago Miguel Falbo was “neat and tidy” on his first start, came off early with cramp but took full part in training this week and is in the reckoning for selection again. Iraqi-born Zein Albehadlie (19) was “very strong” at right-back when he came on as substitute, though his lapse contributed to the first goal.

Meanwhile, Darragh Reynor, another player who has been on the fringe, also put in an impressive performance as a substitute.

Joining these players as contenders for selection is new recruit Conor Murphy (20), who has played with four league clubs, and has been brought to Bohemians “to take goal-scoring opportunities”.

“He knows where the goal is,” said Callaghan as he recalled clearly Murphy’s goal against Bohemians last August during his short spell with Derry City. Now he is looking to Murphy to help improve Bohemians’ modest goal-scoring record. The most recently signed Bohemian is available for Friday.

Callaghan hopes also to have Lorcan Shannon, a 19-year-old right-side midfielder, in his squad soon. Shannon has been on the books of Shamrock Rovers, was on loan to Dundalk last season, and trained with the Bohemian squad this week. Callaghan aims to complete his transfer in the coming days.

Captain Owen Heary (hip injury) has returned to full training, but may not be fit for Friday. Dave Mulcahy has recovered from illness and Derek Pender returns from suspension. But Stephen Traynor (ankle) remains out and Andy Mulligan is in Russia with the Irish colleges squad for the World University Games – a trip Traynor missed due to injury.

Ryan McEvoy and Ciaran Nangle both have sprained ankles from training and face late fitness tests.

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