Preview: Bohemians v Athlone Town

Bohemians Squad Portraits 2024

Bohemians got our SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division campaign off to the perfect start last week and manager Ken Kiernan has backed his side to build on that when Athlone Town provide the opposition at Dalymount Park this afternoon.

Bohs kicked off the 2024 season with a 2-0 win away to Wexford at Ferrycarrig Park thanks to goals from Fiona Donnelly and Aoibhe Brennan, and Kiernan was delighted with how his new-look side performed.

Kiernan said: “Wexford are a settled squad with the likes of Ellen Molloy back and with it looks available all you back and they’ve signed some really good players. So it was always going to be a tricky fixture away from home, so we were delighted with the performance and result.

“Every game we played was away in pre-season so they were used to travelling, they were used to being on the road.

“For the first half week, they played really, really well. We moved the ball well and we kept good possession. Even when we lost possession, we were in really good positions to win the ball back, and defensively we were solid.

“There were 12 new players into our senior team this year, and eight kept on from last season. I have to credit all our players and staff, and their commitment levels so far because every player has played a really big part, and in the performance last week.

“Fiona Donnelly stepped up for the first goal and it was a really positive kind of goal to score because it came off the back of something we’d been working on in training on Thursday night, which was really pleasing.

“But Wexford threw everything at us in the second half, as we knew they would. Then Tiegan Ruddy puts a lovely ball in for Savannah Kane, who at 16 years of age, takes the ball down from the air and was really calm under pressure from an experienced defender, plays it out to another 16-year-old in Aoibhe Brennan, who under pressure from the centre-back, spins her, and finds the top corner.

“So it was really pleasing. Every player showed great character, and they managed the game really well.”

This afternoon will be Kiernan’s first time taking charge in the Dalymount dugout, and for so many of his players, their first time playing on the Dalymount pitch in front of Bohemians fans.


Kiernan said: “We’re looking forward to having a really good home crowd. The players have been in and around the community working with the Bohs in the Community programmes – the likes of Lisa Murphy, Katie Malone, Abbie O’Hara and Lisa Phipps – they’ve been around the schools and the locality, and there is a really positive atmosphere around the team and the club.

“The players all in Dalymount recently filming the ad for Dublin Bus. We were there for the guts of a full day, and we spent so long walking the pitch and in the dressing room that you could just feel how excited the group was and how much they were all looking forward to just getting out on the Dalymount pitch and playing a league game in front of our own fans.”

Kiernan was the assistant manager to Ciarán Kilduff at Athlone Town as they lifted the FAI Cup last season, and cannot wait to take on his former club.

He added: “There are a lot of parallels between Athlone Town and Bohemians. There’s a really good squad now at Bohemians after being put together and teams like this tend to grow through the season. All I am seeing in training sessions are players who want to learn, and who want to improve together. They want to back each other up together too.

“I believe from what we have seen in pre-season that we can compete with any team on any Saturday so then it becomes about trying to build consistency, a bit of luck and players staying fit.

“I’d be very positive about where we are. There are three competitions that we are competing in – the league, the FAI Cup and the All-Ireland Cup – so what we’ve seen so far playing the teams that we’ve played and pre-season, I expect us to be competitive right the way through the season.”

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