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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

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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SLICK SLIGO STUN GYPSIES

BOHEMIANS 0 SLIGO ROVERS 3

Bohemians were given a masterclass in counter-attacking football as champions Sligo Rovers ran out comfortable 3-0 winners at Dalymount Park.

First-half goals from ex-Bohs men Raffaelle Cretaro and Aaron Greene and a second-half header from Anthony Elding sent Aaron Callaghan’s men crashing to their first home defeat of the new season, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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Callaghan welcomed back Dave Mulcahy into the Bohs midfield, with Kevin Devaney leading the line in place of the injured Chris Lyons in a 4-5-1 formation.

In a departure from their usual tactics, Sligo played an orthodox 4-4-2, with Cretaro partnering top scorer Elding up front. But for all their quality, the Bit O’Red were gifted the first goal with barely 90 seconds on the clock.

A deep cross by Ross Gaynor was uncharacteristically misjudged by Owen Heary. Cretaro chested the ball over Heary, but it looked like Roberto Lopes was about to clean up. However, both he and Heary seemed to say “after you”, allowing the Tubbercurry Tornado to poke the league leaders in front. A very sloppy goal from a Bohs point of view.

Credit to Callaghan’s side, the early goal didn’t faze them. They played the better football in the opening periods, with the Dalymount pitch noticeably improved from the draw with Shamrock Rovers. While the surface doesn’t quite lend itself to the flowing passing that Callaghan has instilled, a good April’s growth should see the pitch come back to its best.

An equalizer would have been no more than the Gypsies deserved, and Devaney had a golden chance to do just that on the half hour mark. After sterling work from Derek Pender down the right, Stephen Traynor clipped a lovely ball through. Devaney’s shot was at the angle of the six yard box, but he fired wide at the near post instead of shooting across goal.

Just when Bohs were asserting their dominance, another old boy popped up with a sucker punch. Aaron Greene received the ball on the edge of the box from Alan Keane with his back to goal. Their seemed to be little danger with Lopes tight to the winger, but with a quick turn flash of his left boot, Bohs were suddenly two down. His 20 yard effort went in off Dean Delany’s near post. The Bohs keeper had no chance.

Despite the deficit, Bohs continued to play the kind of football that will surely serve them well throughout the season. McEvoy and Traynor were again impressive, with Luke Byrne continuing to show why he’s so well thought of at Dalymount. Half time came at a bad time for Callaghan’s charges who were well on top when the whistle went.

Captain Heary, who had suffered a torrid first half, was replaced by Stephen Paisley for the second period. With a game against Shelbourne on Monday, Bohs will be hoping that the 37 year old’s knock isn’t too serious.

Sligo soaked up all Bohs second half pressure with the experience of Champions. Evan McMillan was particularly solid. Devaney struggled against the former Bohs and UCD defender. Dave Scully arrived to bolster the Bohs attack, but they could do little to break down the Sligo banks of four. The visitors sealed the victory with one final devastating counter in the 70th minute. Lee Lynch snet Cretaro through down the right, and his delightful clipped cross found Elding un-marked at the back post. The league’s top scorer made no mistake, heading his 8th goal in 7 games for the Bit O’Red.

Bohs don’t have long to reflect on this defeat, with a Dublin Derby in Tolka Park looming on Easter Monday. The perfect tonic for a team looking to bounce back.

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Derek Pender, Owen Heary (Stephen Paisley, 46), Roberto Lopes (Darragh Hanaphy, 83), Luke Byrne, Keith Buckley, Dave Mulcahy, Stephen Traynor, Ryan McEvoy, Karl Moore (Dave Scully, 59), Kevin Devaney. Subs not used: Greg Murray, Michael Barker, Shane Murray, Ciaran Nangle.

Sligo Rovers: Gary Rogers, Alan Keane, Jeff Henderson, Evan McMillan, Ross Gaynor, Ryan Connolly (Kieran Djallili, 60), David Cawley, Lee Lynch, Aaron Greene (Pascal Millien, 79), Raffaele Cretaro (Liam Martin, 87), Anthony Elding. Subs not used: Ciaran Kelly, Iarfhlaith Davoren, Hugh McFadden, Marty Owens

Bohs Man of the Match: Luke Byrne

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THE WEEKENDER: MARCH 29

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

Last week we managed to profit from two contrarian views, namely that the widely-derided Shelbourne could get a result at home to Shamrock, and also that Ireland could take something from the freezing cold Friends Arena in Stockholm.

As with anything in life, there will be frustration and satisfaction in equal measures this season. Waterford, our short priced favourite for last week, were turned over in some style by Mervue, who now head into a top-of the table clash with Finn Harps.

We would probably be well advised to stay away from Division One this week, which has confounded a lot of predictions. Instead will sensibly concentrate on the Premier Division, where there are some very short prices on offer, and not all of them worth taking. Four of the five games have odds-on favourites, and among them is one away team, Sligo Rovers, who make the journey to the Home of Football in search of three points to maintain their fine start to the season.

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The game is live on RTE, and if anything, this will mean Sligo will be over-bet by blind favourite backers. The League Champions are undefeated in 5 trips to Dalymount, have scored at least two in their last 3 league games. On the other hand, under 2.5 goals has been a winner in 6 of the last 7 games between the 2 sides. Form, as we said last week, is not something you should follow blindly. From watching Bohs this season every week, and from watching Sligo’s impressive start to the season on MNS, it is possible to get a grip on these 2 sides and most of us would be confident of predicting a tight game.

Although Sligo would ordinarily have the players to cut any opposition open and create a lot of chances, the weather means that they won’t be able to do this as frequently as they want. You can get 11/4 about the draw with Coral, and it’s a bet that appeals, even though a lot of us won’t expect us to get anything. We’re a pessimistic bunch, but the team that Aaron Callaghan sent out were able to live fairly comfortably with Shamrock Rovers a few weeks ago. Sligo will be tougher again but one thing this Bohs team is able to do quite well is retain possession of the ball. A key attribute when playing against superior opposition.

Elsewhere on the fixture list, there are two favourites that appeal. Shamrock Rovers won easily at home against St Pat’s (although they were gifted their goals) and Linfield. They really should be able to break Cork down and win by a couple. Cork had a moderate enough away record last season, and more of the same probably awaits as 2013 goes on.

We sided with Shelbourne last week, somewhat against everyone’s expectations. This week, they face an extremely tough trip to the Brandywell where they are justified underdogs. Derry have been impressive thus far, running riot against UCD and winning away to Cork, albeit with a late goal. Like the other game mentioned above, this should be a routine home win and can be doubled up.

If ever there was a game to keep a watching brief on, it’s in Limerick where St Pat’s are the visitors. The draw will appeal to many, and it looks to be the result that Pat’s will be collecting a lot this season, potentially costing them another title tilt. It’s not big enough to get involved though, and Limerick will make it tough enough for them so a home win isn’t out of the question by any means.

Recommended: Bohs-Sligo Rovers draw, 1pt 11/4 (Coral); Shamrock (7/10) & Derry City (8/15) (P Power) 1pt Double

WKNDR

CALLAGHAN: CALL-OFF COST US MOMENTUM

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS (Good Friday, Dalymount Park, 7.05pm)

(Please note early kick-off time)

Bohemians welcome league champions Sligo Rovers determined to recover the confidence they felt after their last game 11 days ago.

Last weekend’s late calling-off of the St Patrick’s Athletic game may have cost his team “a bit of momentum”, according to manager Aaron Callaghan.

“The lads put in a good performance against Shamrock Rovers and a good result against Pats would have moved us right up the table,” Callaghan said.

“It’s disappointing when you’re preparing for a game and it’s called off at the last minute, but we can’t control things like that.”

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Bohemians will show the table-toppers the respect they deserve but Callaghan takes confidence from two close games against Sligo last season, including a scoreless draw at Dalymount.

“Sligo have had a great run in the league and they have had a good Setanta Cup so far but we’re looking for a result from Friday’s game.

“The level of consistency Sligo have maintained is very good. They are able to compete for the best players and they have bought well. They took Evan [McMillan] from us, a really good player, and I was surprised that others didn’t get him.”

For Bohemians, Chris Lyons remains out with an ankle injury from the Shamrock Rovers game that may be more serious than first thought. Shane Fitzgerald has returned to training after an ankle injury.

With newly-signed Stephen Paisley now fully fit, Callaghan has to consider what role he may have, given that the defence with Owen Heary in the centre has proven effective.

But the availability of the experienced Paisley and of Dave Mulcahy is a fillip as Bohemians face Shelbourne next Monday. Callaghan may be calling on more of his squad over the next few days.

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MATCH SPONSORS v SLIGO ROVERS

We are delighted to have Arkway Refrigeration on board as match sponsor for Friday’s televised Airtricity League game against Sligo Rovers (KO7.05pm).

A big thank-you to Gary Geraghty from Arkway for his support, we hope Gary and his guests enjoy the game and the matchday hospitality. Arkway installed the new cold room in the bars last year, which contributed hugely to the overall quality of the bars, so it’s great to now have them on board as a sponsor.

As always, please support our sponsors – if you are in the bar, deli or hotel trade and require such services please, give Arkway a call. Visit their website for more information.

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Our match-ball sponsor is the ever helpful TOM GERAGHTY, thanks again to Tom for his continued support.

If you or your company would like to hear more about our matchday sponsorship packages, please email: commercial@bohemians.ie.

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VIDEO: MEET THE BOHEMIANS SQUAD

Filmed by Peter O’Doherty

MEMBERS’ BAR: IRELAND v AUSTRIA

The Members’ Bar at Dalymount will be open from 7pm this evening ahead of tonight’s crunch World Cup qualifier between Ireland and Austria.

All pints for the duration of the game cost just €3.50!

Watch the game at the REAL home of Irish football!

Please help spread the word – we hope to see you there.

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PAT’S GAME RESCHEDULED

Bohemians’ postponed game away to St Patrick’s Athletic, originally scheduled for Saturday March 23rd, has been rearranged for Monday April 29th with a 7.45pm kick-off.
Website by Simon Alcock