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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

“IT’S A GREAT WAY TO START”

BOHEMIANS v SHAMROCK ROVERS
Friday February 16 2018, Dalymount Park

Please note earlier kick-off time of 7.30pm

Bohemians host old rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park in tomorrow’s SSE Airtricity League opener with both sides looking to ignore the hype and do their talking on the pitch.

Unprecedented demand saw the home fans’ allocation to this fixture sell out two weeks in advance, while the away end followed suit shortly afterwards.

It’s the first time since 2005 that the opening night fixtures have thrown up the Dublin Derby. On that occasion, Bohs and Rovers played out a 1-1 draw at Dalymount.

The build-up in recent weeks has been dominated by a sense of anticipation among both sets of supporters and Bohs manager Keith Long acknowledged: “This fixture is a great way to start the league campaign.

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“The sell-out signs have been up in Dalymount Lane for two weeks, which is great to see. It’s just a pity Dalymount no longer has the capacity of years gone – there has been massive interest.

“It’s a big occasion for the supporters and everyone involved with both clubs. But for both sets of players, it’s about getting it right on the pitch.

“Our players have worked hard in pre-season and we believe they will be focused and disciplined in their approach.”

As well as putting the hard yards in on the training ground, Long and his backroom team have worked tirelessly over the closed season to strengthen a squad that had to contend with some high-profile departures such as Ismahil Akinade to Waterford as well as the sales of rising stars Fuad Sule and Warren O’Hora to Barnet and Brighton respectively.

​Even today, Long, despite strong competition, was busy finalising a deal to bolster his attacking options with the arrival of 21-year-old striker Eoghan Stokes (above) from Leeds.

Subject to international clearance, he will go straight into tomorrow’s matchday squad.

The former St Kevin’s Boys frontman joins Darragh Leahy (Coventry City), JJ Lunney (St Pat’s), Rob Manley (UCD), Ryan Swan (Cabinteely), Dylan Watts (Leicester, loan) among the new faces at the club.

But there are some familiar faces making a welcome return too with Keith Buckley (Bray Wanderers), Kevin Devaney (Galway United) and Karl Moore (Bray Wanderers) all rejoining a squad that retained most of its key men from last season.

Looking forward to his fourth season at the helm, Long said: “It’s opening night, with new arrivals at both clubs, so there is change and it will take time for new players to settle.”

These old foes met three times in the league last season with Rovers winning the first two before Bohs claimed the spoils in the sides’ final meeting in Tallaght Stadium.

The bookies once again have Rovers as favourites, but Long remains undeterred.

He added: “It’s no secret that we don’t have the resources that they have, we have tended to go into games against Rovers as underdogs.

“But we can enjoy that tag a little bit too and try use it to our advantage and have our supporters behind us.

“That bond between players and fans is something I’ve preached about since coming in, that was key for us last year.

“There was a definite connection there. Even when we were under pressure, fans didn’t waver.

“That helps players grow in stature and we’ll need that for this game as well as every other one this year.

“It’s an even more competitive league now. We’re not fazed by that but we will need that support again every step of the way.”

TEAM NEWS

Long’s pre-season preparations were rocked by a double blow to his attacking options.

First, Ryan Swan suffered a torn cruciate, which could rule him out for the majority of the season.

Then that loss was compounded with Cristian Magerusan fracturing his metatarsal.

But Long has acted quickly to bolster his front line with the additions of Rob Manley (UCD) and Eoghan Stokes (Leeds).

Eoghan Morgan

​DALYMOUNT SPRING CLEAN TOMORROW

Club member and volunteer Dave Lane has organised a fan clean-up day tomorrow morning at Dalymount Park, 11am.

Your assistance in getting Dalymount in shape for the new season is greatly appreciated.

Jobs include:
- Power washing of seats
- Re-bolting of seats
- Removal of debris in Jodi Stand/Des Kelly Stand
- Weeding of Tramway End

Equipment required includes brushes, garden gloves, shears etc.

If you are able to assist, please mail pro@bohemians.ie and we will pass your details on to Dave.

volunteer-news

EA SPORTS CUP DRAW

Bohemians have been drawn at home to Cabinteely in the first round of the EA Sports Cup.

The game will take place on Monday March 5 at Dalymount Park, 7.45pm.

The sides met in the same round last year, with Steven Nolan’s goal giving the Gypsies a 1-0 at Dalymount.

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MR GREEN SEASON TICKET COMPETITION

It’s now one week until the sold-out Dublin Derby but club sponsors Mr Green are offering fans who have missed out on tickets one last chance to be there – and at every other Bohemians home league game this season.

To be in with a chance of winning the top prize of two Bohs season tickets and a signed jersey, reply to this Mr Green promotional video tweet with your favourite Dublin Derby memory.

And as Mr Green are also partners with Celtic, there is a signed Celtic jersey up for grabs for the runner-up. Prize winners will be picked on Tuesday.

Dublin Derby

“We had camoflage on our faces and my Mam was just looking at me wondering what was going on”

Ahead of the big kick-off against Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park on February 16, Bohemians midfielder Oscar Brennan takes bohemianfc.com behind the scenes as the team and management prepare for the 2018 season.

This is the fourth and final instalment of Oscar’s pre-season diary.

Picture the scene; Dinny Corcoran is skinning a rabbit, Dan Casey is down by the river gutting a fish and somewhere in the forest Kev Devaney and Jamie Hamilton are foraging for fire-wood on a wet day in the Wicklow mountains.

Welcome to pre-season, 2018.

The weather was horrendous, rain, sleet and bitterly.

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We’ve been working hard on the pitch and in the gym, but last Saturday week we were taken out of our comfort zone at Basecamp East, about 15 minutes beyond Enniskerry.

It was a tough day, it wasn’t about fitness but team-work and bonding.

We arrived at 9.30am for a 9.50 start and as soom as the army lads came up over the hill they were screaming at us, screaming at Detser (Derek Pender) to get us in line. As the captain, that was his job. Otherwise we were down for 10 press-ups.

It was serious, they replicated what life was like in the army for us.

We were trekking with these big, massive bags up and down hills, treading through ice-cold rivers and then we’d to set up our own camps.

We were given these sheets to attach to trees, we’d to skin a rabbit and a fish – at least we didn’t have to catch them!

We didn’t eat in the end, we couldn’t get the fire started.

They just said ‘that’s the reality of army life, if you don’t get it started you don’t eat.

You’re so tired by the end of it, the army lads were putting pressure on purposely to see how you react.

There was no room for whinging and moaning, if you just looked at them everyone was down for 10 press ups and what was worse was if you were the one who caused the press-ups, you didn’t do them, you counted them out for everyone else just so everyone hated you that little bit more.

We realised quickly enough after some shock treatment, Detser just had a word and said: ‘look,lads, today is not going to be fun. Just get on with it and let’s just get through it’.

It was a long day, I couldn’t even speak when I got home I was that drained. We had camoflage on our faces and my Mam was just looking at me wondering what was going on.

Detser went and picked one of his kids up from their gymnastics class and the whole class stopped and was looking at the fella with the camo on his face.

You go through what we took out of that day and the skills that are transferable from army life into football – team-work, motivation, trust, leadership and what you would want from the person beside you if you were going to war with them.

Oscar Brennan

VIDEO: BOHS/St KEVIN’S LINK-UP

Aan Caffrey, Ian Morris and Keith Long spoke to us on Wednesday about the new Bohemian FC/St Kevin’s Boys player pathway partnership.

Produced by Peter O’Doherty

IMPORTANT: 2018 membership cards and access to Dalymount Lane v Shamrock Rovers

In a break with tradition, all 2018 membership cards will be sent out to members before our February 16 SSE Airtricity League opener.

This is on the instruction of An Garda Síochána who insist members and season ticket holders must present 2018 cards to enter Dalymount Lane. No 2017 card will be accepted.

That decision is out of the club’s hands but our No 1 priority is to ensure our members and supporters have the least amount of hassle as possible when attending our games.

To help us with that, we ask if members have changed postal address, to contact membership@bohemians.ie immediately to advise of same or if you have any other further queries.

Due to unprecedented demand and the Jodi Stand selling out for this game, the club last night reluctantly took the decision to suspend season ticket sales/renewals and new membership sign-ups.

Membership renewals are unaffected. Season ticket sales and new membership sign-ups will resume on February 17.

Meanwhile, we wish to remind you that kick-off time for this game has been brought forward to 7.30pm to facilitate live coverage on RTÉ 2.

An Garda Síochána have also insisted that there will be NO ENTRY to Dalymount Lane after 7.30pm sharp.

We strongly advise supporters not to leave any margin for error here and to please try to arrive before 7pm and we advise against leaving it any later than 7.10pm.

In previous seasons, large crowds of people arriving in a small time-frame led to severe crowd congestion in the run-up to kick-off, which in turn led to supporters missing the start of the Dublin Derby.

Last season, however, fans really heeded our warnings regarding late arrival, which greatly assisted our crowd control on the night. We were extremely grateful for your assistance.

Again, we do not wish to see any of our members or ticket-holders miss out, so we appeal to you to once again assist us in reducing the chances of crowd congestion by arriving as early as possible.

Our turnstiles and bars will open at 5pm sharp.

  • Members and season ticket holders must enter Dalymount Lane via the North Circular Road.
  • Match ticket holders must enter Dalymount Lane via St Peter’s Road.

Thank you for your cooperation and your continued dedicated support.

The rest of the board of Bohemian FC would also like to extend our gratitude to membership director Stephen Burke for facilitating the delivery of 2018 membership cards at such late notice.

Dalymount Lane by Sportsfile

SEASON TICKET SALES/NEW MEMBERSHIP SIGN-UPS SUSPENDED

Due to unprecedented demand and the Jodi Stand selling out for our season opener, we have been forced to suspend season ticket sales and new membership sign-ups until after our first game against Shamrock Rovers.

Sales will resume on February 17.

Bohemian FC/St Kevin’s Boys partnership launched

Bohemian FC and St Kevin’s Boys FC today formally launched our pathway partnership.

Under the agreement, the clubs will enter a joint team when the 2018 SSE Airtricity U15 League season kicks off in March.

The team will be managed by Ger Browne, supported by his backroom team of Glen Byrne and Greg Donohue.

This arrangement will be extended to U13 level when the new SSE Airtricity U13 League commences in March 2019.

It brings together the League of Ireland’s oldest club and the country’s most famous schoolboy club.

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Both have a proud tradition of nurturing talent. Ireland’s most recent senior international squads are a testament to that.

They featured two former Bohs in Stephen Ward and Matt Doherty and the established former St Kevin’s duo of Robbie Brady and Jeff Hendrick.

Today, as well as looking forward to the shared future of both clubs with excitement, we also highlighted our already-existing links.

These are most evident in the make-up of the 2018 Bohemians first-team squad.

Six of Keith Long’s players once donned the famous tangerine shirt of St Kevin’s as schoolboys: Phillip Gannon, Jamie Hamilton, Darragh Leahy, Karl Moore, Keith Ward and Dylan Watts.

The St Kevin’s DNA also very much runs through the squads of Graham Lawlor’s SSE Airtricity U19 League champions and also Jimmy Mowlds’ SSE Airtricity U17 League runners-up.

Bohemian FC President Chris Brien said: “On behalf of the board of management of Bohemian FC, I would like to say how pleased we are to enter into this partnership.

“I believe it is a perfect match between a club with a great history in schoolboy football and the oldest senior club in the state, one with its own wonderful history over 128 years.

“While our elite section has been successful to date with our previous link to the NDSL, I believe we can move to a different level with this partnership.

“St Kevin’s have produced a number of outstanding players over the years and this partnership gives a clear pathway for their players to go from schoolboy football, through the elite teams all the way into the senior team. It also means that Bohemians are getting excellent young players at all levels. It is a definite win-win situation for both clubs.

“Players will also win. They can now see their future stretch before them and there is no rush to try and get a move abroad. They can remain in Ireland, complete their education and still play football at an elite level. If they do eventually move abroad they will be more mature and, hopefully, be better prepared to handle the situation.

“This is a very exciting time for both clubs and I want to thank St Kevin’s for their commitment to this partnership.”

St Kevin’s Football Director Ken Donohoe said: “We at St Kevin’s Boys Club are delighted that this strategic partnership has been agreed.

“It is an opportunity for both clubs to further grow and present a clearly defined pathway for coaches and elite players from the youngest age groups at foundation level right through to the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division and beyond using the expertise within both clubs that have made them so successful in their respective spheres up to now.

“The complementary nature of this partnership will be unmatched as the full weight of experience of nearly 60 years that SKB have gained at schoolboy level is aligned to the tradition of one of the giants of League of Ireland football in Bohemian FC.

“Both clubs have a strong history of developing some of the finest players that the country has produced. This partnership will only enhance that and it will create opportunities for players from both clubs to maximise their potential in a highly professional and competitive environment.

“St Kevin’s, like Bohemians, also provide football for as many players as possible regardless of ability outside of elite level and both clubs are committed to continuing that policy.

“We would like to take this opportunity to wish Keith Long, his staff and players the best of luck for the coming season and we are sure that the young players currently at U19, U17 and U15 will very soon be pushing to be a part of the Bohemians first-team squad.

“We look forward to both clubs embracing this new concept with desire, determination and commitment to making it a success that will enhance football standards in this country.”

Photo 1: Bohs/St Kevin’s management team of Glen Byrne, Ger Browne and Greg Donohoe.

Photo 2: Steven Nolan, Jamie Hamilton and Darragh Leahy with St Kevin’s Boys Michael and Zach

Steven Nolan, Jamie Hamilton and Darragh Leahy with St Kevin's Boys Michael and Zach

“People don’t see that side of it, they’re coming from work and have families”

<blockquote>Ahead of the big kick-off against Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park on February 16, Bohemians midfielder Oscar Brennan takes bohemianfc.com behind the scenes as the team and management prepare for the 2018 season.

This is the third instalment of Oscar’s pre-season diary.</blockquote>

People might have a picture in their head of pre-season of lads doing endless laps, but the modern strength and conditioning coaches have changed all of that.

There’s a science behind everything. That’s great for us, if you ask Cian McCaffrey, our strength and conditioning coach, why we’re doing something he’ll be able to tell you – ‘this is how this relates to a match scenario’.

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Cian comes in on a Monday and Thursday and before we go out on the pitch we do prehab, injury prevention work.

Players will be on foam-rollers, doing walk-out press-ups, planks side-planks and a lot of lads who’ve been in the league a while find that bit hard.

They might be used to the old-school stuff, it’s harder than it looks – you’re trying to hold yourself up against your body weight.

If you’ve been doing prehab, then it’s straight into training.

If Cian’s not there, it’s up to lads themselves and we’ll do our prehab, Cian’s been there the last year and we know what the exercises are. We’re not babies.

Trevor and Keith are there so early, they’ve everything set-up when you get there.

People don’t see that side of it, they’re coming from work and have families but no matter how early you show up to training they’re there.

They’re not sitting around the changing-room like us, chatting and messing, they’re out on the pitch setting up, they’ve prepared the sessions weeks in advance.

We start with a circle, start with ‘Rondos’ with two lads playing piggy in the middle.

That gets you a touch of the ball, it’s usually a bit of a laugh and then we go into our warm-ups and the session goes from there.

It’s even enough, we put the two young lads in first. The two youngest guys last year are happy out because there are a few new faces and they’ve moved up the food chain a bit.

Wardy is probably the best at it, he has all of these little tricks. Rob Cornwall and Dan Casey struggle the most – two meat-head centre-halves, they haven’t a clue!

Oscar Brennan
Website by Simon Alcock