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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

“WE’VE SHOWN REAL CHARACTER”

UCD v BOHEMIANS (Tuesday May 7th, UCD Bowl, KO 7.45pm)

Bohemians play their third successive away match in eight days when they go UCD on Tuesday.

They come to this game after securing hard-fought draws on the road against St Patrick’s Athletic and Drogheda United.

“The way the lads fought back [against Drogheda] shows how much they care. The result was a reward for the effort they put in,” said Bohemian manager Aaron Callaghan.

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“Coming back from goals behind two games in a row shows real character,” Callaghan added.

Owen Heary, who made it to the bench last Friday after a month on the sidelines with a knee injury, looks set to return to action. Stephen Traynor is also available after a long lay-off. Derek Pender will have a late fitness test for a strain.

“We will have to prepare really well for UCD. They beat Shamrock Rovers at home. They are performing well and their fitness levels are always good,” said Callaghan.

The Bohemian manager returns to one of his former clubs with a squad that includes recent UCD players Ciaran Nangle and Chris Lyons, who celebrates his 20th birthday on Wednesday.

In the last 12 league meetings between the sides, UCD have won only once. However, last February they defeated Bohemians in the Leinster Senior Cup through a Ciaran Nangle own goal in the last minute of extra time.

In March, Chris Lyons scored penalties in successive games when Bohs avenged that defeat with two victories in three days over UCD in the league and in the EA Sports Cup.

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DRAW JUST HUNKY DORY FOR BATTLING BOHS

DROGHEDA UNITED 2 – 2 BOHEMIANS

Bohemians earned a second valuable point in a row away from home in the Airtricity Premier Division, after a hard-fought 2-2 draw with in-form Drogheda United at a wet and windy Hunky Dorys Park.  Bohs were twice behind, but showed great character with equalisers in each half from Dwayne Wilson and Ryan McEvoy.

Boss Aaron Callaghan made just one change from the side that heroically drew with St Pats on Monday night.  Derek Pender came in for Conor O’Brien as Callaghan stuck with a 3-5-2 formation, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

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Unfortunately for the visitors, they slept their way through the opening minute, and Drogheda were ahead in no time.  After ex-Bohs man Gary O’Neill had forced a corner straight from the kick off, Ryan Brennan caught the Bohs defence napping by taking it quick and whipping in a devilish cross.  Michael Daly rose to meet the ball at the height of his jump, giving Dean Delany no chance, stunning the travelling Bohs faithful.

A howling gale was blowing straight in Delany’s face in the first half and the Drogs were well on top, playing the kind of neat football that saw them finish a surprise 2nd in the league last year. Graham Rusk and Brennan both flashed shots across goal as Bohs struggled to get the ball down and play.

When the equaliser came, it was totally against the run of play. Michael Barker played the ball forward to the previously anonymous Dwayne Wilson who’s first touch took him past United defender Shane Grimes.  Wilson then showed an incredible burst of pace and was suddenly through on goal.  For a man who hadn’t yet scored this season, he showed remarkable composure to slide a neat, right-footed finish passed Gabriel Sava into the bottom corner.

The Drogheda response was immediate, and almost produced one of the goals of the season.  Gary O’Neill may not be as nippy as he once was, but he showed incredible control to wrong foot Roberto Lopes.  Just as it looked like he was about to let fly with a screamer – he stopped, checked and chipped Dean Delany – Cantona-esque,  from 25 yards.  The Bohs keeper could only watch as the ball sailed over him and cannoned off the cross bar, with Michael Barker completing a great clearance under pressure from Brennan.

Drogheda didn’t take long to reassert their dominance, and re-took the lead with another sloppy goal for Bohs to concede.  Paul O’Conor’s header was tamely parried back into the danger zone by Dean Delany and O’Conor himself followed up to restore the home side’s lead.  Although it was from close range, Delany might well be disappointed that he didn’t keep the rebound out – as it rather squirmed under his body.

Aided by the wind, Bohs started the 2nd half much brighter – and were level within just 6 minutes.  Chris Lyons came short, and sent an ambitious ball ahead of Andy Mulligan down the left.  Many players would have given up on the pass, but Mulligan’s lightning pace allowed him to amazingly reach it – before getting to the by-line and pulling it back.  The ball ricocheted off two Drogheda defenders before falling on a plate for Ryan McEvoy who buried past Sava from 12 yards.

Again, Drogheda reacted smartly to being pegged back.  The impressive Ryan Brennan did well down the left and fired a dangerous ball across the face of the goal.  It fell to Gary O’Neill just two yards out with the goal at his mercy – but he inexplicably skewed it over the bar when scoring would have been easier.

You almost felt that Bohs would get a chance to win it, and that chance came on 75 minutes.  Wilson’s pace caused Drogheda problems all night, and again took him clear down the right side.  He clipped a lovely ball that sailed over Chris Lyons head but found Andy Mulligan unmarked in acres of space, just 15 yards out.  If ever a player panicked with the result as his feet, it was then.  Mulligan lost his footing, and fell flat on his face.  He was in so much space that he even had time to pick himself up, jink around the on-rushing Sava before firing a shot disappointingly high and wide.

The home side searched for a winner but couldn’t find a way past a steadfast Bohs defence marshalled well once again by new cult hero Dave Mulcahy. That’s two welcome away points for the Gypsies, with the 3rd of a travelling trilogy to come against UCD on Tuesday.

Drogheda United: Gabriel Sava, Derek Prendergast, Alan McNally, Shane Grimes, Brian Gannon, Graham Rusk (Declan “Fabio” O’Brien, 74), Paul O’Conor (Eric Foley, 64), Michael Daly, David Cassidy, Gavin Brennan, Gary O’Neill (Peter Hynes, 86). Subs not used: Stephen Quigley, Philip Hand, Cathal Brady, Michael Schlingermann

Bohemians: Dean Delany, Roberto Lopes, Dave Mulcahy, Luke Byrne, Michael Barker, Derek Pender, Keith Buckley, Ryan McEvoy, Andy Mulligan,  Dwayne Wilson (Kevin O’Leary, 86), Chris Lyons (Kevin Devaney, 90). Subs not used: Greg Murray, Ciaran Nangle, Owen Heary, Shane Murray, Stephen Traynor.

Bohs Man of the Match: Dwayne Wilson

THE WEEKENDER: MAY 3

BETTING COLUMN BY SEAMUS O’CONCHUR

After this weekend’s games, everyone will have played everybody else once, and we can begin to scrutinise the league table with some kind of seriousness.

The big game tonight is in Tallaght, where a home defeat for the home team by Sligo Rovers would be catastrophic.

Sligo have looked shaky in recent weeks after their flying start to the season, with St Pat’s and Drogs beating them in the league and Setanta Cup respectively. A home draw against Drogheda then failed to get the show back on the road, but they have the class to avoid defeat in Tallaght.

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Shamrock have scored in each of their home games this season, and will obviously hope that some of the many chances they are creating start going in. A 2-0 defeat at UCD is fairly stark though, if you are looking for indications that this isn’t just a team short on luck and small margins away from turning draws into wins. That doesn’t really explain why they are ten points behind the league leaders, and if they lose and find themselves 13 behind, patience will be severely tested. The bet that appeals is the draw, something that neither team would be too disappointed at. Despite the home team’s need being greater, Sligo are capable of avoiding defeat.

The above bet on the draw will be seen by many as a safe bet, but there could well be another share of the spoils that is somewhat less expected by neutrals, and it is our trip to Drogheda. The home side may well have one eye on their Setanta Cup final date next weekend, and may be without Alan Byrne, Derek Prendergast, and Ryan Brennan. Declan O’Brien is always a threat against us but even in the absence of Stephen Paisley, we have a team capable of building on the confidence injected by the Inchicore result, and sneak a point here.

It is difficult to pick much else to bet on in this series of fixtures, and there may well be some more draws, considering that teams are going into an intense period of fixtures with little recovery time. What you may see in such circumstances is teams reluctant to really commit towards the end of games, and this is good news for draw backers. St Pat’s wouldn’t be too upset at a draw at Cork, who will be in good spirits following their late comeback against Bray. Bray themselves host Dundalk, who despite their fine start to the season might be slightly over-rated at 4/5 away from home.

Derry and Limerick is another one that looks hard to call, with Derry perhaps more stylish as a road team when they don’t have to patiently break through the sort of defensive masses that visitors to the Brandywell often present them with.

Finally, consider a squeak on UCD to beat Shelbourne. After almost a full series of fixtures, we can probably deduce that Shels have serious problems indeed, even apart from their disciplinary record. UCD will be delighted at last Friday’s home win and won’t have any fear of going to Tolka in search of all 3 points.

Recommended:
Shamrock – Sligo draw, 1pt 9/4 (Coral)
Drogheda – Bohs draw, 1pt 11/4 (BetVictor)
UCD, 1pt 21/10 (Coral)

WKNDR

IN PROFILE: LUKE BYRNE

Bohemianfc.com’s ROBERT O’REARDON spent the day with Luke Byrne and, in a comprehensive interview, the 19-year-old defender reveals how he came to join Bohemians, the hard work behind his rapid rise to the first team, his ongoing footballing education with Shaun Maher and Harry McCue at FÁS, and his hopes for the future.

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Produced by Peter O’Doherty (podproductions.ie).
Interview by Robert O’Reardon.
Intro by Ray O’Hanlon.

“THE LADS HAVE WORKED THEIR SOCKS OFF”

DROGHEDA UNITED v BOHEMIANS (Friday May 3rd, Hunky Dorys Park, KO 7.45pm)

Bohemians complete the first cycle of league games on Friday, playing away to Drogheda United who are undefeated since the first match of the season.

But despite perceptions of the two sides as far apart, Bohemians’ four points from their last two games means that victory on Friday would put them within a point of Mick Cooke’s side, Bohs manager Aaron Callaghan points out.

Monday’s gritty draw against St Patrick’s Athletic has set up Bohemians very well for the trip to Hunky Dorys Park. “I always knew there was that character in the team. Just because one or two results didn’t go the way you wanted didn’t stop us believing in the lads, who have worked their socks off in training,” said Callaghan.

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“With so many changes, and so many younger players coming in, I was over the moon to get that result”.

With four of the most experienced players unable to play, even more responsibility than usual fell on Dave Mulcahy and goalkeeper Dean Delany. The No. 1 was, in Callaghan’s view, “exceptional, making three or four fantastic saves towards the end” and Mulcahy’s was rated by his manager as “one of the best individual performances I have seen in the league”.

Bohemians are well aware that Drogheda United have proven very difficult to beat. Last season, Bohemians had one draw and three defeats in league and league cup encounters with the Drogs. Just a month after Friday’s match, Bohs face Drogheda again in the FAI Cup.

“We’ve got to respect them and we’ll do our usual analysis on how they are playing but we have to concentrate on our own performance and on our shape,” said Callaghan.

“We’re getting more players forward, which has certainly helped us. We looked dangerous on the break against Pat’s. As much as they had chances to win it, we definitely had one or two chances to nick it.”

Bohemians secured their point last Monday with 19-year-old Conor O’Brien making his league debut, and 19-year-olds Andy Mulligan and Michael Barker starting for just the second time.

Callaghan has now started 22 players from his squad and it is likely he will have to draw on more, as Stephen Paisley has left the squad due to work commitments outside football and Darragh Hanaphy is on a temporary break also due to work commitments.

With Paisley off the payroll, Aaron Callaghan has some flexibility in his modest budget and is looking to bring in a striker.

For Friday, Owen Heary (knee) remains sidelined, while Derek Pender (bruised ribs) and Dave Scully (hamstring) face late fitness tests before Friday’s game.

At the other end of the age spectrum, 17-year-old Adam Kelly is now training with the senior squad. He joins defender Michael Scott, just turned 19, who has taken the squad number 23 vacated by the departing Niall Forrester.

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PAISLEY DEPARTS

Stephen Paisley’s contract with Bohemians has been terminated by mutual consent due to his work commitments outside of football.

Bohs get the cream in 2013 Milk Cup

Bohemian FC Under-17s have been rewarded with an incredibly challenging draw for the 2013 Milk Cup.

On Tuesday last, manager Robbie Giles, Head of Player Development & Recruitment Lisa Fallon and members of the squad travelled to Belfast for the draw, which was conducted by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and 18-year-old Reds starlet Raheem Sterling.

There was great excitement at the official launch of the 31st year of the prestigious competition when it was announced that current World Club champions Corinthians of Brazil would be sending their Under-17 team to compete in the competition for the very first time.

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The Brazilian side were drawn in Group 3 of the Premier competition alongside CSKA Moscow, before Rodgers drew Bohs in the same group. County Londonderry/Derry were also drawn in Group 3.

Speaking after the draw, Under-17s manager Giles said: “What a fantastic group. It’s a massive challenge for our players but who wouldn’t want the opportunity to play against players from clubs like that?”

Senior manager Aaron Callaghan says it’s not a group for the lads to feel daunted by.

“Everyone should be excited by this draw. Its a huge experience playing against players from other cultures and different styles of play and I’m really looking forward to attending these games.”

And Head of Player Development & Recruitment Fallon also believes it’s a great challenge for the players, adding: “There is no greater incentive for any player than having the opportunity to measure themselves against some of the best players in the world.

“Participating in the Northern Ireland Milk Cup is a very important step on our new pathway of player development and this will be an experience that our lads will remember for the rest of their lives.”

A fixture list that includes: Bohemian FC v Corinthians and Bohemian FC v CSKA Moscow is something for everyone at the club to forward to!

The Milk Cup runs from July 28th to August 2nd 2013 and venues/times for games will be confirmed soon.

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DEVIL’S CARTEL COMPETITION WINNERS

Bohemians captain Owen Heary has drawn the five winners of our ARMY OF TWO:  THE DEVIL’S CARTEL competition.

To celebrate the launch of Army of Two: The Devil’s Cartel, EA invaded the Airtricity League for Bohemians’ game against Sligo Rovers and gave away a console and copy of the game.

Bohemians FC “Army of Two” took on support from Sligo Rovers, with themed Army of Two cards hidden in both the home and away sections on the night. Two lucky fans from each club teamed up and went head to head at half-time in a test of skill!

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As if that wasn’t enough, we were given  FIVE COPIES of the game to give away on our Facebook page. The five winners of the game are:  Alan Byrne, Simon Wielens, Mick Slater, Fergus Lynch and Fergie Cronin.

A big thank-you to EA Sports for the prizes!

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TOUGH DRAW IN MILK CUP

Bohemians have been handed a tough draw in this summer’s Northern Ireland Milk Cup.

Bohemians are competing in the Premier Section (Under-16) of the prestigious competition, which runs from July 28th to August 2nd.

The draw, conducted by Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers and player Raheem Sterling, saw Bohs paired with CSKA Moscow (Russia), Corinthians (Brazil) and County Londonderry (Northern Ireland).

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PREMIER SECTION: Group One - Vendee FC, Cruz Azul, Cherry Orchard, Co. Down. Group Two - Otago, Club America de Mexico, Co. Tyrone, Co. Fermanagh. Group Three - CSKA Moscow, SC Corinthians, BOHEMIANS, Co. Londonderry. Group Four - Newcastle Utd, O’Higgins FC (Chile), Liverpool, Co. Armagh. Group Five - TUS Altenberge, Strikers FC, Manchester Utd, Co. Antrim.

JUNIOR SECTION: Group One - Plymouth Argyle, Strikers FC, Japan FA, Co. Fermanagh. Group Two - Brentford FC, Barcelona Sporting de Ecuador, Co. Londonderry, Co Antrim. Group Three - Watford FC, Colina (Chile), North Dublin SL, Co. Down. Group Four - Southampton, Liverpool, Cavan & Monaghan League, Co. Tyrone. Group Five - Swindon Town, Everton, Dundalk SL, Co. Armagh.

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BOHS BUS TO DROGHEDA

The Bohs bus heads to Hunky Dorys Park this Friday (May 3rd) as the Gypsies travel take on Drogheda United in the Airtricity League.

Check-in is from 3pm. The bus will leave Dalymount Park at 5.30pm sharp and return straight after the game. The cost is €15 return.

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

Website by Simon Alcock