“We have to give it go and let’s see where that takes us”

Ali Reghba gave Bohs the lead from the spot at Dalymount last Wednesday - Stephen Burke

Preview: Shamrock Rovers U19s v Bohemians U19s
SSE Airtricity U19 League Final
Tuesday October 30, Tallaght Stadium, 7.30pm
(General admission €5, U14s go free)

The Bohemians U19s are looking to cap off another remarkable season by clinching a second league title in a row when they travel to Tallaght Stadium to face Shamrock Rovers.

SSE Airtricity U19 League champions last term, Bohs brought that form into this season once again – lifting the Enda McGuill Cup with a hard-fought win away to St Patrick’s Athletic in September.

The Bohemians faithful acknowledged the hard work being done at underage level by really getting behind Craig Sexton and his side for their Uefa Youth League return leg fixture at Dalymount Park last Wednesday.

A crowd of 1563 came to Dalyer as Bohs went down fighting against a fancied FC Midtjylland side, losing 2-1 to the Danes on the night and going out 4-2 on aggregate.

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Sexton’s side have dusted themselves down after that disappointment and are refreshed and ready to go toe to toe with Aidan Price’s Hoops in the league decider.

He said: “It’ll be an interesting game, it’ll be a tight one I think. But we have to give it go and let’s see where that takes us.

“I think we will get a crowd there with it being a Dublin derby, it’ll appeal to a wider audience.

“I think it’s the first time Bohs and Rovers have played in a big final since I played in the U20s final in 2010.

“We were beaten on penos that night, so hopefully the result will go the other way this time around!”

While trophies and the honour of representing the country in Uefa competition have been obvious highlights, Sexton sees the progression of players to Keith Long’s first team as the real sign of success.

The pathway for players is clear, from the joint Bohs-SKB U15 and U17 teams right through to the U19s and on to the first team. 

Ali Reghba, Andy Lyons, Cristian Magerusan, Danny Grant, Jamie Hamilton, Promise Omochere and Ryan Graydon have all featured for the first team this season as well as starring for Sexton’s U19s, while Paddy Kirk, now 20, has this season established himself as a first-team squad regular having shone for the U19s in recent seasons.

Sexton said: “Either way the game goes, this group have been fantastic. What they’ve achieved this season and last has been unbelievable.

“For the first team, the amount of players we’ve been able to bring through has been extremely pleasing.

“That’s where our success lies and I’m extremely proud of all the boys.”

Their route to the final has proved difficult, however, having had to dig deep in the knockout stages of the league against both Waterford and UCD.

In the quarter-final against Waterford, Bohs trailed 1-0, 2-1 and 3-2 before eventually coming out on top 4-3 after extra time. In the semi-final, Bohs relinquished a 2-0 lead to need penalties to defeat UCD.

Sexton added: “We played Waterford, we scored with five or ten to go having been behind the whole game.

“Against UCD we were 2-0 up, cruising in the game, concede one and concede another just on the stroke of full-time.

“For the players to press the restart button and go again for another 30 minutes and win the shootout after that set-back was excellent.

“It shows you the type of group we have that they were able to dig deep and get those results.”

Website by Simon Alcock