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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

CANDYSWIPES

BOHEMIANS 0 DERRY CITY 4

Bohemians suffered their second heavy home defeat on the bounce as high-flying Derry City won by four goals to nil at Dalymount Park. In a match that was eerily similar to last Friday’s defeat to Sligo, the Gypsies played some good football in patches, but were ultimately undone by a mix of poor defending and clinical finishing, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Aaron Callaghan might just be hoping that the RTÉ cameras stay away from Phibsborough for a few weeks, with the second televised game in a row ending in a very unfavourable scoreline for Bohs. Despite a confidence-boosting win over Shelbourne on Monday, the unchanged side were well beaten by Declan Devine’s efficient counter-attacking outfit.

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Just like the game at Tolka, Bohs started well. Superb close control from Ryan McEvoy gave him some space to feed Luke Byrne, who slid a lovely pass through to Ciaran Nangle. Nangle’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, agonizingly close to both Dave Scully and Kevin Devaney.

Unfortunately for Bohs, they were hit with a sucker punch just as the team were starting to dominate. Derry’s Patrick McEleney had been anonymous for the opening 13 minutes, but he definitely caught the attention in the 14th. He picked the ball up on the left side about 30 yards out, skipped inside Derek Pender, and unleashed what is often referred to as a “worldie”. His curling 30-yard strike hit the underside of Dean Delany’s crossbar, bounced down and back up into the top corner. It was a strike to light up any game.

As good as Derry’s opening goal was, their second was the kind of goal that would give a manager sleepless nights. An aimless ball down the line from Paddy Kavanagh was totally misjudged by Ciaran Nangle, who let the ball slip under his boot. Simon Madden suddenly had acres of room to deliver a cross, which found Michael Rafter on the penalty spot. Rafter had far too much time to take a touch, set himself, and shoot through Roberto Lopes’ legs to double Derry’s lead.

As the game wore on, it was difficult not to cast minds back to the first half of the game against Shamrock Rovers, and Chris Lyons’ injury. Bohs just haven’t looked particularly dangerous since the former UCD man was chopped down by Derek Foran, and Aaron Callaghan will be hoping his ankle injury heals as quick as possible.

Bohs’ best spell came after the break, when a string of corners and free kicks heaped pressure on the Derry defence. Again, no clear cut chances materialized, despite a clear penalty appeal being turned down for a blatant handball by Shane McEleny. The out-of-retirement Anthony Buttimer may well have been unsighted, but his assistant in front of the Derry fans should have put his flag across his chest.

With Bohs close-but-not-quite getting back into the game, a third Derry goal was always going to be the killer. Again, it was sloppy. Dean Delany flapped at a Derry corner, and the looping ball returned to the back post was miraculously cleared off the line by Ryan McEvoy. However, no one in red and black reacted, and Shane McEleney rose to nod the ball into the empty net.

Just three minutes later, a forgettable night for the Gypsies was complete. Michael Rafter found himself in a lot of space between the midfield and defence. He had time to slip a ball around the side of a wrong-footed Roberto Lopes, and Barry McNamee applied the finish. Bohs now have 11 days to lick their wounds before an intruiging trip to Limerick and the grandeur of Thomond Park on Tuesday the 16th of April.

Bohemians:  Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle (Karl Moore 77), Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Keith Buckley 45), Dave Mulcahy; Dave Scully, Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Dwyane Wilson, Conor O’Brien , Andy Mulligan.

Derry City: Gerard Doherty, Simon Madden, Shane McEleney, Ryan McBride, Thomas Crawley (Dermot McCaffrey 83); Patrick Kavanagh (Michael Duffy 79), Barry Molloy, Ruaidhri Higgins, Patrick McEleney; Barry McNamee, Michael Rafter (Mark Griffin 80). Subs not used: James Gallagher, Ryan Curran, Tony McNamee, Conall Kelly.

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THE WEEKENDER: APRIL 5

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

Without wishing to be typically pessimistic as a Bohs fan, our win over Shelbourne on Monday may prove in the long run to say more about Shels’ quality this season than it will about our ability to develop a knack of winning games.  With one point to show from five games, the portents are not good as Shels travel to face runaway leaders Sligo Rovers this weekend.

Sligo’s quality was obvious to anyone at Dalymount Park on Good Friday, where they won 3-0 whilst playing almost entirely within themselves.

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One suspects that they have a couple of gears to go up, and as they begin to have even more top-class players available to them (Joseph Ndo, Danny North), the lads starting for Ian Baraclough won’t want to ease up.  Shels’ disciplinary record this season only compounds what one suspects will be a task way beyond them this weekend and Sligo can be backed with reasonable confidence on the Asian Handicap.

The RTE cameras visit the Home of Football again as Derry roll into town in great form, and seen by most as the team most likely to challenge Sligo for the league – if indeed any team are going to put up much of a challenge.  It will be interesting to see how Derry set up to play against us, as they are a team with a similarly young age profile to our own.  They are uncompromising at the back, but this game is unlikely to be as bad-tempered as some recent meetings between the sides as they know where the net is and have been able to win games well, with notable results including a narrow win away to Cork and a 6-0 thumping of UCD, a team we scraped past against ten men.  There is little to suggest that we can get much out of this, but our defence has been impressive enough this season, and it’s unlikely that Derry will beat us quite as easily as Sligo did.  At a general price of 8/15, under 2.5 goals could be the bet.

Elsewhere in the league, Shamrock Rovers will be looking to get closer to Sligo before they lose sight of them completely, but Drogheda have been a stubborn outfit this season, if not quite as impressive as last season.  Their only defeat this season was a 0-1 at Richmond Park on the opening night when they were some way short of their best.  Shamrock Rovers’ perceived on-pitch problems (over-intricate, lack of cutting edge in the final third, unable to put away inferior teams) aren’t going to be solved in a hurry and you’d be more and more confident as the game goes on of Drogs being able to claim a point once they don’t concede early.  3.91 the draw with Pinnacle is more than acceptable here.

Bray have been tough enough this season and remain unbeaten.  St Pat’s will have their backers but it’s hard to trust them in a single bet.  They are yet to draw a game this season but it’s not impossible that they’ll do precisely that tonight.

Dundalk’s home game with Limerick is a candidate for both teams to score.  Neither team has looked great at the back but both sides possess some decent attacking talent and so both teams to score here could be the best bet.

In the First Division, Wexford will find it tough to get anything from the long trip to Donegal and the fit, hungry Finn Harps can be backed at 4/5 to take all 3 points.

Recommended:
Sligo Rovers -1.5, 1pt 9/11 (Pinnacle)
Bohs-Derry under 2.5 goals, 1pt 8/15 (general)
Shamrock Rovers-Drogheda draw, 1pt 3.91 (Pinnacle)
Dundalk-Limerick both teams to score, 1pt 19/20 (Hills)
Finn Harps, 2pts 4/5 (general)

WKNDR

7-DRAW LOTTO TICKET FOR JUST €10!

You can now purchase a special 7-draw ticket for the Bohemian FC Lotto/Football Forecast for the knockdown price of €10 from the club’s online shop.

With individual draw tickets costing €2, this ticket is a steal!

Once you’ve bought your ticket from the online store, email your selections to footballforecasts@bohemians.ie each week before the deadline.

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CALLAGHAN: WE CAN’T REPEAT ERRORS THAT COST US

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY (Friday April 5th, KO7.05pm)

Bohemians host No. 2 in the league Derry City just a week after welcoming leaders Sligo Rovers. But they come to Friday’s televised encounter after bouncing back from defeat to Sligo Rovers with a good win over Shelbourne.

Manager Aaron Callaghan was very pleased with the performance against Shels, particularly with the contribution of more experienced players, Derek Pender, Dave Mulcahy and Stephen Paisley, the last-named playing his first full game of the league campaign against his former club.

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“Their experience counted when Shelbourne had us pinned back for 20 minutes in the second half,” said Callaghan.

In his first league start for Bohemians Ciaran Nangle (pictured) did “really well, he brought a bit of balance to the team on the left side, and he showed calmness”, according to the manager.

Victory over Shelbourne moved Bohemians out of a group at the bottom of the table and“it was vital to get those three points”, Callaghan noted.

Derry will present formidable opposition, having scored seven goals in their last three games, while conceding none.

“They will be coming to us full of confidence. They have had a good start to the season. We have to make sure our preparation is right and we have to concentrate on our own performance, and make sure we don’t make those errors that cost us against Sligo”, said Callaghan.

Against Shelbourne, a couple of players who were starting regularly were rested, and one or two of those may come in again against Derry.

Michael Barker has joined the injury list with an ankle injury from training. Owen Heary (knee) and Chris Lyons (ankle) remain out.

Callaghan has sought to keep the whole squad tuned up with friendlies, like a short game played on Wednesday at the IT Blanchardstown complex. He has arranged another friendly against Irish Universities for the 11-day period between Friday’s game and the trip to Limerick on 16th April.

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SPECIAL OFFER FOR FORMER MEMBERS

Bohemians are running a special offer for former members for our next two home matches – against Derry City (Friday April 5th, KO7.05pm) and Dundalk (Friday, April 19th, KO 7.45pm)

For these two fixtures, all former members of the past 10 years can come to the game for just €5! All the former member needs to do is show their old membership card at the Members’ Stile.

We encourage all members and supporters to invite any ex-members you know to come along and avail of this offer.

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HOME TO BRAY IN EA SPORTS CUP

Bohemians have been drawn at home to Bray Wanderers in the second round of the EA Sports Cup.

The tie will be played Monday/Tuesday, 20th/21st May. Match details will be confirmed in due course.

Full draw: Pool 1 - Limerick v Waterford Utd, Wexford Youths v Cork City. Pool 2 - Finn Harps v Derry City, Sligo Rovers v Mervue Utd. Pool 3 - Bohemians v Bray Wanderers, Salthill Devon v St. Patrick’s Athletic. Pool 4 - Drogheda United v Longford Town, Shamrock Rovers v Dundalk. Note: The draw for the Quarter-final stage will be on an open basis.

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VIDEO: SHELBOURNE 0 BOHEMIANS 1 POST-MATCH

Bohemians manager Aaron Callaghan gave his post-match reaction to TONY MAGNER after his side’s hard-fought Dublin Derby victory away to Shelbourne on Easter Monday.

Filmed by Peter O’Doherty

ALL WHITE ON THE NIGHT

SHELBOURNE 0 BOHEMIANS 1

Kevin Devaney fired Bohemians to their second win of the season in a hotly-contested North Dublin Derby at Tolka Park on a bitterly cold Easter Monday.

Aaron Callaghan’s white knights were no April Fools as Devaney’s fifth-minute strike was enough to send the Gypsies into the top half thanks to this victory over 10-man Shelbourne, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Bar a 15-minute period of intense pressure early in the second half, Bohs were definitely the better side against a Shelbourne team still looking for their first win of the season.

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The visitors’ midfield trio of Dave Mulcahy, Ryan McEvoy and Stephen Traynor controlled what was often a scrappy affair, with neither side able to fully commit to passes due to the bobbly and uneven Tolka Park pitch.

Following a disappointing defeat but a promising performance against champions Sligo Rovers on Friday, Bohs came out of the blocks all guns blazing against their near-neighbours. Traynor’s slaloming run forced an early corner, which was whipped in by McEvoy. Stephen Paisley, in for the injured Owen Heary, miskicked in the six-yard box, and the ball fell to Devaney, who fired a low drive into the bottom corner of Niall Burdon’s net.

It was the kind of start that Callaghan would have dreamed about, and the Gypsies continued in a confident vein. Ciaran Nangle and Devaney were occupying the flanks to good effect, while the bustling Dave Scully was proving a nuisance to the Shelbourne defence.

The home side’s captain Ian Ryan was booked for a particularly high challenge on Nangle, while Devaney saw yellow for an unfortunate slip that comically clattered former Bohs man Robert “Boccer” Bayly.

Bohs forced a string of first-half corners but just couldn’t quite find a second goal that would have been richly deserved at the break. Devaney could have doubled his tally but for a last-ditch block by Brian Shortall with the goal gaping. Shelbourne, and Philly Hughes in particular, had a couple of half-chances, but Dean Delany was never really troubled.

Whatever Alan Matthews said to his charges at half-time, it definitely worked. The home side were a different animal after the break and Bohs found themselves pinned in their own half. A series of free-kicks and corners brought a couple of good saves from Delany, while Paisley and Roberto Lopes were kept busy by a smattering of long balls into the Bohs box.

One of these was cleared out to Bayly 25 yards out, and he screamed a shot that cannoned back off the crossbar. That seemed to shake Bohs back into life, and the introduction of Dwayne Wilson also relieved some pressure. The gangly and unorthodox Wilson managed to win a few frees with a series of powerful runs, providing much-needed relief to a stretched Bohs back-line.

Bohs got the cushion of an extra man with 20 minutes remaining. Wilson fed Scully in space, and after the striker flicked it past Ian Ryan, he found himself body-checked to the ground. Referee Sutton had no choice but to give Ryan a second yellow. After that, Bohs could well have had a second but for some lax play in the final third.

The excellent Mulcahy marauded forward on more than one occasion, but after he set Wilson through, the sub could only shoot at Burdon’s feet. Bohs saw out the final minutes without incident, and can go into Friday’s televised clash with Derry City with renewed confidence.

Shelbourne: Niall Burdon; Robert Cornwall (Mark Leech, 86), Ian Ryan, Brian Shortall, Jack Memery, Adam Hanlon, Pat Flynn, Paul Crowley, Robert Bayly (Stephen Hurley, 82), Dean Kelly, Philly Hughes. Subs not used: Sean Brennan, Alex Prizeman, Craig Mooney, Darren Tinnelly, Eoin Comerford.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Roberto Lopes, Stephen Paisley, Luke Byrne; Ciaran Nangle, Ryan McEvoy, Stephen Traynor (Dwayne Wilson, 64), David Mulcahy; Kevin Devaney (Keith Buckley, 77), Dave Scully. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Shane Murray, Karl Moore, Michael Barker, Andy Mulligan.

Attendance: 1,329

Bohs Man of the Match: Dave Mulcahy

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BOHS LOOK TO BOUNCE BACK

PREVIEW: SHELBOURNE v BOHEMIANS (Easter Monday, Tolka Park, 7pm)

Bohemians meet north Dublin rivals Shelbourne on Easter Monday when both teams will be determined to come back from heavy defeats on Friday.

Manager Aaron Callaghan found some encouragement from aspects of his team’s performance against league-leaders Sligo Rovers and his counterpart Ian Baraclough acknowledged their 3-0 win was “not a drubbing”.

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“For long periods of the game I thought we played well, and moved the ball well,” said Callaghan. “The early goal was a kick in the teeth but we responded well and we were back in the game for 25 minutes after that. But we didn’t pass and move it as quickly as we would like and we’ve got to work on that.”

That work begins immediately with Monday’s clash with Shelbourne who have, according to Callaghan, been “performing well, but losing by a goal here or there, rather like us at the start of last season”.

The Bohemian manager fully expects Shelbourne to improve.

“They have a lot of experience through the side with players like Glenn Cronin, Paul Crowley, Graham Gartland and Philly Hughes. But then, every team in this league has the potential to turn over any other.”

Bohs and Shels had exactly the same satisfactory result, a scoreless draw, in their recent matches against Shamrock Rovers, suggesting they may be more closely matched than the league points indicate.

In last season’s encounters, the sides won one match each, both away from home, and drew the third match at Dalymount.

Bohemian goalkeeper Dean Delany and defender Stephen Paisley will be making a quick return to Tolka Park after signing from Shelbourne in the off-season. Paisley made his Bohemian debut on Friday as a half-time substitute for Owen Heary.

Heary, a long-serving and inspirational leader at both clubs, will miss this north Dublin derby due to a knee injury which caused that substitution. Chris Lyons remains out for Bohemians with an ankle injury.

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SCHOOL’S OUT

Bohemian FC under-15 and under-17 players are getting a taste of life as full-time footballers, as they take part in elite training camps during the Easter school holidays.

These camps are the latest development in the club’s youth development strategy and are organised in association with Swan Leisure Centre, Rathmines, official partner of the Bohemian Youth Academy.

The players in these squads are training through their Easter holidays from 10am to 5pm daily, taking part in sessions covering Strength and Conditioning, Core Work, Pool Work, Endurance and Power training, Recovery, Nutrition and Hydration seminars, Motivation and Improvisation seminars, Video analysis and tactical work.

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This initiative is a key component of the club’s new youth philosophy which aims to facilitate every Bohemian FC player to reach his own potential – whatever level of football that takes him to.

“There is a perception out there that players need to be in England by their mid-teens if they are going to make it as a professional footballer,” said Lisa Fallon, Head of Player Development and Recruitment at Bohemian FC.

“But many players come back due to home sickness and not being able to adapt to living away from friends and family and often that experience kills the game for them.

“We want to show that players can stay here in their home environment, finish their education and also receive elite level training so they are not missing out.”

Lack of money is no longer an excuse for clubs to stay away from strong and progressive youth development policies, according to Fallon.

“Our players are getting top-quality coaching and it’s costing the club nothing, just some time and energy, a bit of initiative and the commitment to make it happen,” she said.

Gavin Finn, Operations Manager at Swan Leisure Centre, said: “We have managed to break down the barrier of lacking facilities and professional training and provide low-budget organisations with elite training.

“We are delighted to be able to work with Bohemian FC and provide access to our top-level facilities and staff expertise. It’s an exciting initiative to be part of and we are looking forward to proving in the long term that with access to elite training and facilities, we can produce top-level athletes who can compete at international level.”

The players are eating healthily and are properly fuelled and hydrated for the training thanks to Superquinn in Walkinstown who are providing food and drink, free of charge, a “huge contribution” according to Fallon.

“People just bought into it straight away and Superquinn asked me, what do I need? The lads are getting healthy breakfasts, hot meals at lunch-time and snacks to sustain them during morning and afternoon sessions,” she said..
“Grassroots football is crucial to the future of the game here and we just have to take it seriously. If there’s no money then we have to find other ways of making things happen.”

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