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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

IRISH PRIDE: DERBY TRIO ON THE RISE

BOHEMIANS v DERBY COUNTY (Saturday July 13th, Dalymount Park, 3pm)

Bohemians welcome Nigel Clough’s Derby County to Dalymount next month and included in the travelling party from Pride Park will be three current members of the Ireland international team – Conor Sammon, Richard Keogh and Jeff Hendrick.

Ireland boss Giovanni Trapattoni handed senior international debuts to a total of eight players in the past year, and among them were the Derby County trio, all of whom made their bows in a 2-0 friendly win against Poland in January.

Sammon will be familiar to many Dalymount regulars having lined out for UCD (2005-2007) and Derry City (2008) in the past.

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Club boss Clough is a keen admirer. After the striker made his international debut, Clough said: “To leave Conor on all game is the biggest compliment the manager could pay him. On your debut, you usually get about 60 or 70 minutes and then a pat on the back.

“To leave Conor on and against good opposition shows how well he did. He gave the ball away late on and chased back 60 yards and won a throw-in. That sums up Conor. We have seen that honesty and appetite for hard work all season. It is the main thing that attracted us to him.”

Although Sammon has yet to get on the scoresheet in his seven caps to date, the Malahide man played an important role in getting Ireland’s World Cup qualifying campaign back on track.

Most notably he won a penalty, converted by Jon Walters, in the 2-2 draw against Austria in March. He then unselfishly teed up Robbie Keane to seal his hat-trick in the 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands earlier this month, having also provided the assist for his skipper in the 4-0 friendly win against Georgia five days previously.

Keane said:  “Conor came on against the Faroes and set up another goal for me, so that was two from two games. He’s very effective. He’s so big but he’s also quick. Against the Faroes, a player had 10 yards on him out on the right wing but he caught him. I didn’t realise how fast he was until then.

“Height-wise, he is like Niall Quinn but they are completely different. Because he’s tall, people look at Conor as a target-man but he has pace as well. With the two goals he set up for me, he showed that he’s got that in his locker as well.”

But perhaps the highlight of the 26-year-old’s brief international career to date came in Ireland’s last outing, the New York friendly defeat against Spain earlier this month. Although the World and European champions ran out 2-0 winners, Ireland’s performance provided some encouragement for the future with Sammon’s physical presence proving a nuisance for the Spanish defence.

In one break, he muscled unsuspecting Barcelona star Gerard Pique off the ball to create a chance out of nothing. Although Sammon’s subsequent shot let him down, Keane was once again impressed with his efforts and said:  ”Conor was a handful. I don’t think Pique knew what hit him when the two of them went down the line. It was a good experience for Conor coming in against these players.”

Another man to have gained vital experience last season is Sammon’s Pride Park team-mate Keogh. Having signed from Coventry City last summer, he was immediately handed the captain’s armband by Clough and went on to make 49 first-team appearances for his new club over the course of the season.

Like Sammon, Keogh is also 26 and a also a late bloomer on the international stage. His first taste of football at that level was his brief cameo role against Poland, having come on as a late substitute for Ciaran Clark. The Essex-born centre-half had to wait until June to add to his international appearances but in doing so, he capped off his first Ireland start with a goal in the win over Georgia.

After the game, Keogh beamed:  “It couldn’t have gone any better really. Great to get a first start and show the manager what I can do. To top it off with a goal, I’m over the moon. Every since I’ve been involved I’ve been made to feel very welcome. I’m buzzing.”

But one of the brightest prospects for both Derby County and for Ireland is undoubtedly Hendrick. Still just 21, the Dubliner now has four caps to his name and has already made 91 first-team appearances for the Rams.

Having established himself as a first-team regular at club level, the former St Kevin’s Boys starlet it tipped to do likewise for Ireland in the future, but he is keeping his feet on the ground.

He explained: “International football is different to the Championship. You are playing against better players and if you do give the ball away, you are more likely to be punished. So you have to maintain possession all the time really and there are times you can get away with it in the Championship but that is less the case in international football.

“I thought I’d be staying with the Ireland Under-21s so I’m just happy Trapattoni gave me the chance. I just want to keep trying to get into the squad and keep trying to improve my game.

“Everyone dreams of doing that when you are younger, that is what you always want to do but I didn’t think it would come this quickly. Hopefully, I can get a few more games and keep improving my game and see where that takes me.”

TRAVELLING FROM DERBY FOR THE GAME?

Our good friends at the Temple Bar Hotel have joined us in welcoming Derby County supporters to Dublin.

The hotel, with an unrivaled location in the very heart of Dublin city centre, is providing special weekend bed and breakfast rates for the travelling Rams of €95 per single room and €125 per double room.

To make a reservation, please contact the Temple Bar Hotel at reservations@tbh.ie or call +353 1 677 3333 – and make sure to mention you’re coming to Dublin for the Bohs game!

Nestled in the most vibrant area of city centre bars, restaurants and nightclubs, and close to all major bus and rail links in the city, this hotel offers every possible amenity on its doorstep.

Dublin’s most popular shopping streets – Grafton St and Henry St – are both within short walking distance, while the city’s most popular tourist attractions are accessible by foot and by bus/Luas.

And that’s not all… The Temple Bar Hotel not only has a great location, but offers guests full entertainment facilities all under one roof! Check out www.buskersbar.com & www.alchemyclub.ie for more details.

 

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BOHEMIANS/NDSL PARTNERSHIP STRATEGY

Bohemian FC and the North Dublin Schoolboy and Girls League are delighted to announce an official partnership between the two organisations.

Under this new arrangement, Bohemian FC will gain access to the best players in the NDSL to facilitate their transition from youth football to senior football.

Coaching relationships will also be built to ensure players get the best learning experience in a model that complements the football philosophy of the club. This will include coaching sessions conducted by Bohemian FC’s senior coaching staff.

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This partnership is a perfect fit as it is a link between the North Dublin Schoolboy and Girls League and The Bohemian Football Club, which is the original north Dublin League of Ireland club, having been founded in the Phoenix Park and based locally throughout its 123-year history in north Dublin.

Speaking at the launch event at Dalymount Park, NDSL secretary Tony Gains said: “We believe it’s a good partnership for the North Dublin Schoolboy and Girls League as we now have a complete pathway for our players from 16 to 19 years of age.

“The history and tradition that Bohemian FC have will be a source of tremendous experience for our players, coaches and the league as a whole.”

And Bohemians president Matt Devaney added: “We are delighted to form this partnership with the NDSL. We believe that by having a direct link to the 80+ clubs and 13,000 kids in our catchment area of north Dublin, it will give us an unrivalled advantage in our efforts to grow our youth section and our fanbase. We look forward to working closely with the NDSL to ensure the partnership is maximised to its full potential.”

Bohs manager Aaron Callaghan said: “This is innovative because it gives young players a pathway to the elite level of football in this country. I’m excited by this partnership and the potential for the on-going sharing of ideas. It’s great for all players and coaches.”

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BRADFORD CITY TO VISIT DALYMOUNT IN JULY

English League Cup runners-up Bradford City will play Bohemians in a friendly game at Dalymount Park on Saturday July 20th (KO 1pm).

The game could see the return to Airtricity League turf of Carl McHugh, formerly of Dundalk.

The Donegal man played a pivotal part in the Bantams’ run to Wembley last season, helping them knock out three Premier League clubs – Wigan, Arsenal and Aston Villa – before Phil Parkinson’s side eventually fell at the final hurdle against Swansea.

The 20-year-old’s season highlight was netting an 88th-minute goal in their semi-final first-leg 3-1 win over Villa, which proved crucial in an eventual 4-3 aggregate giant-killing.

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And despite having to be content with a place in the Bantams’ next trip to Wembley – their League One promotion-clinching play-off success – McHugh also capped off a remarkable season by winning his first caps for Noel King’s Ireland Under-21s, and also won the Football League Young Player of the Month Award for January.

(Picture shows Bradford players celebrating after knocking Aston Villa out of the English League Cup semi-finals. Carl McHugh (centre) with Donegal flag.)

FRIENDLIES

Saturday July 13th Dalymount Park Bohemians v Derby County 3pm
Saturday July 20th Dalymount Park Bohemians v Bradford City 1pm

 

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PENDER BLUNDER LEAVES BOHS IN RELEGATION MIRE

BOHEMIANS 0 – 3 SHELBOURNE

A North Dublin Derby turned into a North Dublin Nightmare as Bohemians were thrashed at home by basement club Shelbourne in a disastrous night at Dalymount Park. The miserable weather matched the mood of the home fans at the final whistle following a crushing defeat in the last game before the mid-season break.

Derek Pender’s 32nd minute red card masked a dreadful home performance that lacked vigour, creativity and determination. All three Shelbourne goals came from poor Bohs defending. To try and put the scoreline in perspective – before tonight, the visitors had scored one away goal and collected just two points on their travels. New boss Johnny McDonnell seems to have invigorated the Tolka Park club, while this defeat is Bohs’ sixth by two goals or more at home in all competitions this season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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Shelbourne started the better, playing with a kind of purpose that was certainly lacking when these sides met in the first round of games. Yet again, Bohs conceded an early goal at home. After a Shels corner was cleared away, Sean Brennan picked up the ball just inside the Bohs half. He beat his first man with consumate ease, then got the benefit of a lucky ricochet off Owen Heary to suddenly find himself through on goal. Brennan kept his composure and slotted the ball past Dean Delany to send the away fans in the Des Kelly stand into wild celebration.

Despite the return of Heary, Bohs looked particularly shaky at the back. Granted, the wind was right in their faces, but a series of hoofed clearances and missed passes did little to relieve the pressure on the back four. Even when the ball did go up the other end, Dave Scully cut a forlorn figure. Keith Buckley, Karl Moore and a rather sluggish-looking Kevin Devaney offered little in the way of back-up play.

The key moment of the game came just after the half hour mark. Derek Pender had been cynically tripped five minutes earlier, and perhaps was still reeling. He lunged in on Darren Tinnelly with studs showing. For a supposedly experienced player, it was a ridiculous challenge to make at this stage of such an important game. There were howls of anger when referee Tomás Connolly produced a straight red card – but the truth is, Pender gave the referee little choice. If you lunge in recklessly with feet off the ground, you can have no arguments.

If Pender’s tackle was ridiculous, it was nothing to the shambles of Shelbourne’s second goal which came just two minutes after the red card. Owen Heary is a legendary figure, but the seven-time league winner is not beyond criticism, and his 34th minute error will rank as one of the worst of his career. Sean Brennan floated an innocuous ball into the danger area. Heary was right underneath it, and inexplicably just stepped aside and left it. Bohs fans watched – mouth-agape – as Dean Kelly gleefully nodded the ball in from just five yards. Heary seemed angry with Dean Delaney, but it was 100% the captain’s fault.

Ironically enough, Bohs actually started to play well while a man down and 2 goals down. With little to lose, they strung a few passes together before the break. Kevin Devaney half-heartedly tumbled in the box, but referee Connolly was having none of it.

The second half started poorly for the home side again. Dean Delany fired a series of goal kicks all the way out of play as Bohs struggled to judge the wind. The final nail in the coffin came on 52 minutes, and again an individual error cost the Gypsies. Luke Byrne has been Bohs best player of the season by some distance, but he was culpable for the visitors’ third. First, he stood off Philly Hughes as the big frontman brought it down and flicked it through for Kelly. Byrne was favourite to intercept the pass, but slipped and fell, allowing Kelly a clear run on goal. He clipped it brilliantly over Delany to finish the game as a contest.

The final forty minutes was difficult watching for any Bohs fan. The errors kept on coming. Byrne played a weak pass across the face of goal and Sean Brennan could have made it 4 if not for Delany’s intervention. The keeper again saved Bohs on 70 minutes when he saved well from Hughes before Mark Leech scuffed a shot from 6 yards straight at the Bohs net minder.

Referee Tomás Connolly attracted most of the ire from the Bohs fans, who seemed particularly interested in Shelbourne’s time-wasting and their moving of free kicks and throw-ins a yard or two further ahead. Surely a more important problem was Bohs’ devastating lack of creativity. Karl Moore was the only player with a little spark about him, and he won a soft penalty with 10 minutes to go. Connolly seemed to be eager to even things up (although his decision to send Pender off was a simple one). Moore tumbled over Shels keeper Niall Burdon, who seemed to get a hand on the ball. Nevertheless, Connolly pointed to the spot. Chris Lyons stepped up, and keeping with the theme of the night, struck a dreadful penalty straight at Burdon’s legs.

The mid-season break sees Bohs level on points with UCD in the relegation play-off spot. Shelbourne, in the automatic relegation spot, are now just 5 points behind the Gypsies. Bohs are without a win in their last 8 games, and have only scored 13 goals in 17 league games. Before the game, Aaron Callaghan talked about bringing in two or three players in the transfer window. Aftre this result, there is no doubt that the squad needs strengthening if the Gypsies are to avoid a proper scrap to avoid the drop.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Owen Heary, Roberto Lopes (Ciaran Nangle, 14), Luke Byrne, Karl Moore, Ryan McEvoy, Dave Mulcahy (Stephen Traynor, 56), Keith Buckley, Kevin Devaney (Chris Lyons, 73), Dave Scully. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Michael Scott, Michael Barker.

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon, Jack Memery (Brian Shortall, 78), Graham Gartland, Ian Ryan, Darren Tinnelly, Glenn Cronin, Sean Brennan, Stephen Hurley, Pat Flynn, Dean Kelly (Mark Leech, 66), Philip Hughes (Gareth O’Connor, 87). Subs not used: Adam Hanlon, Ger Hanley, Craig Mooney, Jake Donnelly.

THE WEEKENDER: JUNE 14

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

It could be an important round of fixtures for the bottom section of the league table this weekend, and needless to say that means it could be a big weekend for Bohs.

If results go our way, we could be as high as 8th in the table, and 11 points clear of basement team Shelbourne.

A home win over Shels for us, coupled with an away win for Derry City (who are a best-price 1.76 to do just that) will see us pull well away from the bottom of the table, and overtake the Seasiders.  Throw a Drogheda win at Cork into the equation, and a bit of a reverse in goal differences, and we could also overtake the Leesiders on goal difference.

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So how much of a chance do we have of beating our northside neighbours?  Since being beaten 3-0 at home by St Pat’s Athletic, Johnny McDonnell has come to Shels and obviously brought a message that players have responded to.

He wasn’t long in the job when they went down narrowly in Tallaght, but they again came off the worse in a 1-0 scoreline at home to Derry last weekend, a game in which they looked much improved from previous weeks.

They key for Bohs could be to try to nick an early goal and build on the unexpected result we managed in Sligo last weekend.  Another clean sheet here would be excellent, and if we can score a goal or two it would be a massive 3 points.  From a betting point of view though, everything looks to be factored in and Bohs don’t appeal at 11/10 on betfair.

People will fancy Shels at 7/2, or 9/4 draw no bet, and there is an argument that those are fancy prices for an improving side who many will feel are due a “new manager” bounce (a bounce which doesn’t actually exist in football, according to many studies).

However, the greater talent lies in the Bohs lineup and with more cutting edge we can win on a nervy night.  If pushed, the bet to be recommended might be the half-time draw at 11/10 with betfair.  Despite improving under their new coach, it can’t be ignored that Shels have failed to score in 10 of their last 14 league games.

The other games briefly mentioned above have the potential to also help our cause, as Derry travel to Bray to take on the goal scoring machine that is Jason Byrne, and Drogheda make the trip south to take on Tommy Dunne’s Cork side whose form has badly tailed off recently.

Shamrock Rovers were pushed for a while but ran out comfortable winners at the Cross, despite conceding a late goal, and Drogheda will be smarting from their Louth Derby loss to Dundalk in which they didn’t look to be playing at full tilt but still created plenty of chances.  They can take the 3 points against Cork here (2.9 Drogheda win with Coral) and pile on the misery for Tommy Dunne.

Derry’s trip to Bray should also result in the sort of scoreline that will bring a smile to Bohs fans’ faces.  Jason Byrne’s hot streak cannot continue forever, and fresh from nicking a narrow away win at Tolka last weekend, the Candystripes will find it easier to create chances against a weak Bray Wanderers side.

You can back the away team at 1.76 with Pinnacle and this is a price that should be taken.  This could be a high-scoring game but if Derry can keep Byrne quiet, they can win it fairly easily.

The game of the weekend probably comes in Dundalk as St Pat’s are the visitors.  Killian Brennan is pulling all the strings in midfield for the Saints and has just scooped the player of the month award for May.

Despite Dundalk’s fine form, this is not a game that will hold any fears for Pat’s and they will be well able to handle the surface.  It should be an entertaining game with a few goals but not necessarily a game that appeals from a betting perspective.

UCD have pulled off some shock results of late but Sligo will fancy this fixture as one in which they can re-focus and find their goalscoring form.  With Danny North in the team, and a realisation that they simply have to start winning if they want to have any chance of retaining the league title, they can be backed on the asian handicap to get this particular job done in some style.

Recommended:

Drogheda United, 1pt 2.9 (Coral)

Derry City, 1pt 1.76 (Pinnacle)

Sligo Rovers -1.75, 1pt 97/100 (Ladbrokes)

WKNDR

“IT’S A CUP FINAL FOR BOTH CLUBS”

BOHEMIANS v SHELBOURNE (Friday June 14th, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm)

Bohemians boss Aaron Callaghan has described this Friday’s crunch North Dublin Derby with Shelbourne as a “cup final for both sides”, writes KEVIN FAGAN. Following last weekend’s heroic draw with champions Sligo Rovers, Bohs will be looking to get a valuable three points against their nearest rivals heading into the Airtricity Premier Division’s mid-season break.

Referring back to the Sligo game, Callaghan felt it was one of the Gypsies’ best performances of the season. “It was a fantastic performance. Not many teams go up there and come away with a result, especially in the last year. I thought the character of the team, the application and the work-rate was fantastic. But I think the key was Owen Heary coming back into the team.”

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Bohs’ veteran captain made a long awaited return to the starting line-up against Sligo, and there was surely no coincidence that the Gypsies kept their first clean sheet in 14 games with the former Shelbourne man in the side. “He just gives us that extra bit of experience”, said Callaghan.

“It obviously improves the communication amongst the defenders, and allows us to push Dave Mulcahy into midfield. When you have that type of experience, and work rate to come in, it rubs off on the young players. Owen is a winner, and it just shows you how important it is to have that experience in key positions.”

Looking ahead to this Friday’s clash, Bohs can stretch their lead over bottom-side Shelbourne to 11 points at the mid-season break. While Callaghan knows the importance of the game, he isn’t too concerned about the visitors’ place in the table.

“It’s a cup final for both clubs. Shels have improved under Johnny (McDonnell, new Shelbourne boss), he has them more organized. Both clubs know the importance of the game. Realistically, we have to look at the chasing pack around us. We know that Shels are within touching distance, but we can’t control what others are going to do.”

Callaghan acknowledges a mixed set of performances as we move past the half-way mark in the Airtricity League Premier Division.

“We’ve had some poor performances, we’ve had some mediocre performances, and we’ve had some very good performances. One of the key areas we need to address is our home form. We seem to be picking up some good points on our travels – we’ve got some good draws away to Drogheda, Pats, Shamrock Rovers, and obviously last week against Sligo. We know we have to improve our home form in the second half of the season”.

With the mid-season break approaching, Callaghan says that he will be looking to strenghthen the Bohs squad during the transfer window. “Budgets dictate what we can and can’t do, but we’ll definintely be looking to bring 2 or 3 in and maybe move two or three on who havent been playing much. I think at this stage of the season most clubs will be looking to do something.”

No players are definitively ruled out through injury for the Shelbourne game, but doubts include Owen Heary (hip), and Luke Byrne (dead leg). Keith Buckley is also nursing a hamstring strain, but Callaghan is hopeful all three will make the game.

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WIN THIS VOLKSWAGEN UP!

Tickets are now on sale for the 2013 edition of the annual Bohemian FC Christmas Draw!

The first prize is the stunning Volkswagen Up! (pictured), currently on display on match-nights at the Connaught St side of Dalymount Park, in conjunction with our good friends and club sponsors Volkswagen Karmann.

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As well as the one lucky winner of the Volkswagen Up!, we also have fantastic runner-up cash prizes: 2nd place €2013, 3rd place €1000, 4th place €750, 5th place €500 as well as TEN prizes of €200 and a further TEN prizes of €100.

And that’s not all!

There’s also five monthly draws (July, August, September, October and November) of TEN prizes of €100 each month as well as further monthly draw prizes to be announced.

Tickets, which cost just €20, are now available from the club’s online shop* and from Dalymount Park during office hours and match-nights.

This draw is limited to 3000 tickets, so buy yours now to avoid disappointment!

Remember, as well as offering you the chance to win big, the annual Christmas Draw is one of the club’s most important fundraising efforts. We rely on your continued support of club fundraisers.

A big Bohemian thank-you to Jimmy O’Connor and his fundraising team, and also to our friends at Volkswagen Ireland, in particular Simon Elliott.

Note: *There is surcharge of 96c on online sales to cover PayPal charges.

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BOHS DRAW DERRY IN EA SPORTS CUP

Bohemians have been drawn to play Derry City in the quarter-finals of the EA Sports Cup.

The tie is provisionally scheduled to take place on Monday July 1st at Dalymount Park. We will confirm time and date in due course.

The Gypsies last won the competition in 2009 (pictured), beating Waterford United 3-1.

Full draw: Bohemians v Derry City, Drogheda Utd v Cork City. Shamrock Rovers v St Patrick’s Athletic, Limerick v Sligo Rovers.

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“it’s my job to pick the guys up”

SLIGO ROVERS v BOHEMIANS (Saturday June 8th, The Showgrownds, 7.45pm)

Bohemians face a “David-and-Goliath match” as they return to league action but they are “going there to try and get points”, according to manager Aaron Callaghan, writes BRIAN TRENCH.

“If we can replicate the intensity shown in training on the pitch and get Owen [Heary] back with his experience, I can see things turning around for us, no problem,” said Callaghan, following defeats in league and cup in the past two weeks.

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“Lack of experience has at times gone against us and that can affect confidence but it’s my job to pick the guys up, ” Callaghan added.

“I think sometimes they don’t realise they can become good players, if they can get that bit of self-belief.  They’ve been working their hearts out since the start of the season and I believe the confidence they need at the moment will come back.”

Bohemians’ defeat to Drogheda in the FAI Cup last weekend “was not a three-goal game”, Callaghan insisted. “When we make a mistake we get punished for it. The other side of that coin is, when you get a rub of the green, it can change things for us. Against Drogheda, we hit the bar twice and we had a one-on-one.”

The manager is committed to giving his young players an opportunity to prove themselves and to develop. “It’s a positive for us that Adam Kelly made his début for us at 17 years of age [against Drogheda]. Most of the other squads are settled, with just one or two young lads, while we have a plethora of younger players with one or two more experienced ones.”

Striker Kelly had a break after the under-19 campaign and is working towards the fitness levels required for league action. Callaghan expects him to feature again in the remainder of this season, but is mainly looking to him as a prospect for next season.

At the other end of the age scale, Bohemians have “definitely missed Owen’s presence and influence”, the manager said. With Heary back, Dave Mulcahy can be moved into the centre of the park to help provide the kind of leadership that comes from “these guys who have gone through the mill”.

Heary (hip injury) faces a late fitness test for the Sligo trip but, as he possibly returns to action, another experienced player, Derek Pender (illness) is likely to be out.

There will also be late fitness tests for Luke Byrne, injured in training, and Keith Buckley, who came off in the last match with a hamstring strain. Andy Mulligan will be missing this weekend due to a family commitment.

Sligo Rovers, who have Anthony Elding and Evan McMillan suspended, have had a dip in form, Callaghan noted. “But it’s not over from their point of view. The gap at the top could be closed with a couple of results going against Pat’s. And it’s certainly not over for us.”

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LAST CALL: BOHS BUS TO SLIGO

The Bohs bus heads to the Showgrounds tomorrow (Saturday June 8th) as the Gypsies travel take on champions Sligo Rovers in the Airtricity League.

Check-in is from 3.30pm. The bus will leave Dalymount Park at 4pm sharp and return straight after the game. The cost is €20 return.

To put your name down, mail bus@bohemians.ie.

Website by Simon Alcock