Preview: Bohemians v UCD

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday March 17 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Declan Devine says there can be no let-up in Bohemians’ work ethic and positive approach to games if they are to continue their impressive start to the season.

With four wins from five, Bohs currently top the table and host UCD at Dalymount Park on St Patrick’s Day.

Devine said: “We want to finish off before the international break with another good performance.

“We have done a lot of work on UCD this week. Nobody at the club underestimates them. You only have to go back to the opening day of the season when they went away to an expectant Dundalk and came away with a draw.

“They gave Sligo one hell of a game at the Bowl too so we are under no illusions that we have to be at our very best in every game we play.

“History tells us that on their day UCD are capable of beating anyone in this league and if we show any disrespect to anybody we will end up with egg on our face.”
Devine hopes to see another packed crowd at Dalymount Park. The Jodi Stand is long sold out but some tickets remain for the Des Kelly Stand and Mono Stand from

Devine said: “I have asked a lot of our fans over the start of the season so far.

“It’s St Patrick’s Day and a day for celebration but we want to get three points and to do that we need our fans with us again too.

“The fact that the Mono Stand is open for Bohs fans for the first time, it would be great to have as many Bohs in there as possible and have the three sides of the ground behind us from the off.”

Bohs’ most recent league victory saw them dominate St Patrick’s Athletic and come away from Inchicore with a 2-0 victory last Friday thanks to goals from Johnny Afolabi and Dean Williams.

Devine said: “The most pleasing aspect for me is that we have been going to difficult venues and putting on performances, not just holding out.

“The players probably didn’t get the credit they deserve for going down to Cork on the first day of the season when you see some of the results Cork have picked up since.

“St Pat’s were unbeaten at home so for us to go there and be quite dominant in the game was a testament to the players and their courage in a hostile atmosphere.

“It is just three points though and we have to make sure we match that now again on Friday. We have been very positive but we are only starting and we have to continue to strive to get better.

“When we have the ball we have got to be creative because we have very good creative players but we also have very good work ethic and a real desire to get the ball back.

“Johnny’s goal last Friday, for example, comes from Adam McDonnell chasing a lost cause a few seconds before Ali Coote picks the ball up. Chasing those lost causes is crucial in our league. We can never give up and we can never stop working.”

Afolabi and Williams notched their first league goals for the club, and Devine was delighted to see his frontmen rewarded for their efforts.

He said: “The only person putting pressure on Johnny was Johnny himself but his overall play all season has been sensational. He is making really good, firmly established defenders look under pressure, which is a testament to him and to the supply he is getting too.

“Dean is a fantastic finisher. He hasn’t started so far but his time will come. He is such a well-liked member of the group – when he went into the dressing room afterwards everybody was singing his name.

“For Dean’s goal, the goalkeeper made an error but made it because we put him under pressure, which is fantastic. Our right-back Grant Horton is chasing the goalkeeper down in the 92nd minute, which is a bit unheard of.

“Likewise for Afolabi’s header, our right-back was right behind him if he missed it to tuck it away.

“Another pleasing aspect is our front five have all scored. Johnny, Dean, James Akintunde, Declan McDaid and Ali.

“We have chipped in with goals from Grant from a set-piece, and Jordan Flores now has three, so I believe we have goals right through our team.
“I was also delighted for our back four and James Talbot for keeping a clean sheet. James pulled off a brilliant save last week, which could have been a turning point in the game, and our defence is getting a bit more settled, which is really pleasing.

“Another important aspect is that everyone is getting on. You have people like Keith Buckley, James Talbot, Paddy Kirk, Jordan, with all their experiences, pulling the group really tightly together.”

That includes James McManus, who celebrated his 18th birthday after training today and was presented with a birthday cake by skipper Bucko.

Devine said: “James is a fantastic young lad.

“I am delighted to see him called up for the Ireland U19s this week, and I think it is only a matter of time before he is called up for the U21s – I have no doubt about that.

“He is turning a lot of heads as I knew he would but, at the same time, there is no pressure on the boy. We have serious competition for places in the middle of the park.

“Every player and member of staff loves working with James on a daily basis. He is so grounded. He is just a class act and is very brave in his approach to games.”
With games coming thick and fast, a completely changed Bohs XI laboured to a 1-0 extra-time Leinster Senior Cup quarter-final victory against Crumlin United on Monday, with John O’Sullivan scoring the winning goal.

But there were more positives to take with U19s players Derwin Adewale, Alex O’Brien, Chris Lotefa and Luca Cailloce all handed first-team starts.

Devine added: “I was very impressed with the young players who came up from the academy, and were probably our best players on the day.

“We want to win every game so the positive is we won and are through to the semi-finals.John O’Sullivan got minutes and scored, Jay Benn got minutes, Dylan Connolly got minutes while suspended in the league, while Luke Dennison and Drew Baker made their debuts.
“All of that is important as we will need our entire squad sharp this season.”


Captain Keith Buckley (calf) is a doubt while Dylan Connolly serves the last of his three-game ban following his sending-off against Shelbourne.


SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division
Saturday March 11 2023, 3pm, Dalymount Park

Bohemians host champions Shelbourne in a Dublin derby in their first home SSE Airtricity League Women’s Premier Division game of 2023 with Ciara Maher admitting the squad are buzzing to get back playing in front of a big crowd at Dalymount.

Bohs had a winning start in their opening game against Treaty United last weekend, with Rachel Doyle’s penalty on 63 minutes the difference between the sides at Markets Field.

Now Maher is relishing the prospect of playing in front of home fans at Dalymount, where games this season will take place with a new kick-off time of 3pm.

Maher said: “We have looked back at last Saturday’s game. We played well but there are things we can improve on against Shels. We know this weekend is going to be a bigger challenge so we have to get stronger again.

“But we are absolutely buzzing to be back in Dalymount. I love playing in Dalymount the whole time, I just hope the weather holds up now!

“The atmosphere in Dalymount is something else. The stadium brings so much culture to this league. Even walking up the lane, the graffiti as you walk in, it’s just different to everywhere else.

“You can’t beat the vibe you get walking out onto the pitch at Dalymount, so we are really looking forward to playing our first home game of the season there.”

Maher is looking to make up for lost time too.

After three years with DLR Waves, her debut season at Bohemians in 2022 was disrupted through injury, although she still managed to line out 17 times.

She said: “Last year was one of the worst injuries I have ever had. I was dealing with a metatarsal break, and it was really tough.

“But it made me realise how much I love playing and how much I missed it.

“So this season I am so determined to progress and show people my full potential. I feel I have a lot more to bring.

“I have had a good pre-season so I am just really looking forward to hopefully having an injury-free season and playing as many games as I can.”

She is enjoying being back in defence too, and believes she has developed a strong partnership at centre-back with Lisa Murphy.

Maher said: “For the previous 3½ years I was playing in midfield but I am back playing centre-half now, which is where I started off. That was my main position growing up.

“I am really enjoying it back there. Me and Lisa are working really hard together and I feel that we are getting stronger. We are communicating better and we have a really good understanding of how we both play now.”

There is an added expectation and professionalism surrounding the team this season, and Maher has embraced it.

Crowds are expected to grow this season, strong commercial partnerships with Dublin Bus have added to investing in the team on and off the park, with Maher and Co hoping to reap the benefits of training in the same facilities as the men’s team in the DCU Sport Complex.

Maher added: “Pre-season this year flew by. We were adjusting to a lot of new players coming into the squad, and players leaving.

“We have new training facilities – training at the same centre in DCU as the men’s team – so all the new faces and new surroundings have created a fresh atmosphere.

“Having the facilities at DCU, in particular the high performance gym, brings more professionalism to the whole set-up. The facilities are first class and there is a different vibe.

“It takes time to gel all the new faces together but I feel we are gelling well together now. We are well prepped now for the season, and I feel we have built again this season on the squad we had from before.

“It is going to be a tight league and it is going to be very competitive but that is what we want. We are really looking forward to it, and looking forward to the challenge of playing Shelboure in Dalymount.”

Manager Pat Trehy said: “We are coming into this game after a good win last week and a very good pre-season.

“We have brought in some good signings and have strengthened up the team, but shels have also signed some new players from the States.

“We aren’t here to take part, we are here to win games.”

  • Please note that SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games at Dalymount Park this season will kick-off at the earlier time of 3pm unless otherwise stated.
  • Admission is included for all members, season ticket holders and Junior Gypsies.
  • General admission is just €5 and tickets can be purchased in advance from

Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic v Bohemians

SSE Airtricity League Men’s Premier Division
Friday March 10 2023, Richmond Park, 7.45pm

Declan Devine says Bohemians will have to deliver their best performance of the season to date to beat St Patrick’s Athletic in Richmond Park on Friday.

Devine’s men go into the game with their tails up once more having bounced back from last Friday’s disappointing 1-0 defeat away to Shelbourne with a confident 3-1 victory against Drogheda United at Dalymount on Monday night.

Goals from Jordan Flores, Ali Coote and James Akintunde sent the Bohs fans, who packed out Dalymount once more, home happy.

Devine said: “It was a really good response after what I thought was a very harsh result the Friday previous. I asked the players to start with high intensity. I asked them to really go after Drogheda in the early stages of the game, and we did that.

“We had a really good response and we freshened up with three or four players coming in. We were positive in our approach to the game. The players are confident in themselves and they are confident in the players around them.

“We had many good performances. Ali Coote, with his goal, his creativity and his ability to go past people with the ball. James Akintunde played brilliantly, and Declan McDaid was sensational.

“Johnny Afolabi, his performances are at the very highest level. In the 93rd minute, to run back into his own half and win the ball back for us when Drogheda were counter-attacking us showed his willingness to do his job for the team, and was, for me, as good as any goal I know he is going to score this year.

“But there were a lot of good performances. Bucko again, Jordan Flores – three goals in four games – having played half of those at left-back.

“I was blown away by James McManus too, and I have spoken before about the level I feel that kid can go and play at. Overall it was a really good team performance.”

But with another quick turnaround and in the knowledge that they face another enormous challenge at a sold-out Richmond Park, Devine’s players were not afforded any time to pat themselves on the back.

Devine said: “We have to make sure that when games are coming thick and fast, which they are, that we are ready for them and not complacent going into them.

“Going into this game it has to be exactly the same. We have to make sure we are ready for a huge match. We cannot get carried away – we are just four games in – but the one thing we know is that we are going to need our full squad.

“We have shown over the four games we have played, and the amount of substitutes we have used, that we will bring fresh legs on in the latter stages of games because none of our players coming on will weaken us.

“We have a strong squad. We have both defensive and attacking options, and serious competition, particularly in midfield. There are different ways of skinning a cat. You have to go after every game and pick the right personnel for each game.”

While not getting carried away, with three wins from their opening four games, Devine is pleased with how his new-look side is progressing.

He said: “I am delighted with how the team has settled in but we have to strive to get better. There is no point in me saying we have arrived – we definitely can and must get better.

“It has been a crazy 12-week period. Going through a pre-season with new players, and then bringing in so many new players so late in the transfer window, I am delighted with how we started.

“But we are all working hard to improve further, and we know that we will need our best performance of the season to go and win on Friday night. We need the highest level of performance from everybody – right throughout the squad.

“St Pat’s have some seriously talented players. They are very capable, especially in front of a packed home crowd. We have got to be up for that. We have to be ready to meet that challenge head on. We have to make sure we defend properly and that we attack with purpose.

“I know that the players are all itching to play. They are really looking forward to this game, and they are really looking forward to Sunday’s game against Crumlin too as they all just want to play.

“They are loving the games at the minute and are showing real intensity in our play, with the exception of the first period against Shelbourne.

“But I believe we have the capabilities of moving up the gears. We have trained well this week and we have made sure the boys are right because we need to up our performances again to win at a difficult venue.”


Dylan Connolly (suspended) is Bohemians’ only absentee.

Preview: Bohemians v Drogheda United

SSE Airtricity League Men’s Premier Division
Monday March 6 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Declan Devine has told his side they need to ask more questions of the opposition in the final third when they are in the ascendency in games.

It is second versus third at Dalymount Park on Monday night, meaning Devine’s side have not been afforded much time to feel sorry for themselves following Friday’s 1-0 defeat against Shelbourne.

In a tight game in Tolka Park, Bohs struggled to break down a fired-up Shels side.

Frustrated in the opening periods of the game, Devine’s men were on top before and after half-time but struggled to create clear-cut opportunities that might test the home keeper, Conor Kearns.

And their chances of making a breakthrough received a blow in the 66th minute when Dylan Connolly received a controversial red card from referee Arnold Hunter, which was unsuccessfully appealed on Saturday.

Damien Duff’s side made their numerical advantage count with Kian Leavy scoring the only goal of the game 11 minutes later as Bohs were knocked off their perch at the top of the table by Derry City.

Bohs have a quick turnaround to try to put that pressure on the league leaders when Kevin Doherty’s Drogheda – unbeaten so far with one win and two draws – provide the opposition at Dalymount on Monday.

Devine said: “We were gutted on Friday night. It is not in my DNA or in the DNA of my players that we are willing to lose games, especially a Dublin derby.

“We have to take that defeat on the chin – there is no point feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We are happy that we have another game coming so quickly as I feel we have a strong squad but we certainly will not be underestimating Drogheda.

“Against Shelbourne, we went down to 10 men having been on top without having enough penetration. We had a lot of the ball without creating enough clear-cut chances. That is something we have to learn from – we have to be creating more chances in all our games.

“But I felt that even when we went down to 10 men that we were the better team but we have to learn that when we are on top, that our attack-minded players ask more questions of the opposition in the final third.”

One positive to take from the game was the performance of 17-year-old midfielder James McManus, previously singled out for praise by Devine for his form in pre-season, who was introduced as a half-time substitute for his first league appearance of 2023.

Devine said: “The young lad is a really talented boy. He is a box-to-box midfielder. He can dig in and give you a defensive option but is also very creative and has a willingness to get on the ball.

“I feel we have good midfield players – it was great to see John O’Sullivan take back to the pitch. That cameo role will give him a lift. He is still a bit away from starting but to have players like him and James McManus able to come on

“It is important to have those options. We have used our bench in all three games. I used four subs down in Cork, four against Dundalk and five against Shels when we were chasing the game.

“That is the purpose of having a strong squad. I trust every member of our squad. There are players the fans haven’t seen much of yet but there is really strong competition for places.

“When you have three games in a week, that is when you really feel the benefit of a strong squad, and we will be playing a very strong team against Drogheda. We cannot look past that. It is a home game.”

Monday night fixtures often fail to quite match the atmosphere of Friday night games, but Devine is hoping to see fans into the ground early and Dalymount rocking once more.

He added: “We have won our one home game already and we want to build on that. We want our home form to be strong.

“We need our supporters really behind us in this game. I would call out to them – and I understand that it can be really expensive and a hard ask to attend three games in a week – but if we have our supporters in the ground early and behind us again on Monday it will really give the team a big lift.

“We need our people behind us. We need that bond that we had at the Dundalk game – that extra bit of noise and support that helps to get you over the line.

“Drogheda are coming into Dalymount having not lost a game in three, so it is important that we are fully focused for what will be a battle on Monday night.”


Dylan Connolly (suspended) is Bohs’ only absentee.

The Jodi Stand is long sold-out for this game, but some tickets remain for the Des Kelly Stand from

Declan Devine addresses supporters ahead of final first-team game of 2022

Ahead of Bohemians’ final league game of 2022, against Sligo Rovers at Dalymount Park at 7pm this evening, new manager Declan Devine addressed supporters directly.

Please note that while tickets for the Jodi Stand are sold out for the game, Des Kelly Stand tickets remain on sale from

Writing in the matchday programme for the first time, Devine thanked members and fans for their support during what has been a difficult season on and off the pitch, looked ahead to next season with enthusiasm, and called for support for Lynn O’Neill’s testimonial game, which takes place this Friday at Dalyount Park.

Devine said:

It is with great pride that I write my first message as manager of this wonderful and prestigious football club and thank you for the amazing reception I have received since moving to Dublin.

Although this is the last game of a very disappointing season on the pitch, we will be doing everything in our power to finish this campaign off with a win.

I have watched this club from afar and before moving to morning training and a professional full-time set-up in January 2023, I believe we should acknowledge with great thanks the incredible work and hours that Keith Long put into the club over his eight years of service. I am sure we will see Keith back in Irish football very soon and I wish him every success in the future.

The last few weeks have given me an invaluable opportunity to assess all aspects of the club and footballing structures. The current league position and results of this season have not been anywhere near good enough for a club of this magnitude and I will work every hour to build a squad of players to help us to get back to challenging for honours and have a team that you as members and supporters can relate to in our work ethic and style of play.

I sincerely thank you, our supporters, for the high level of attendance and for sticking with the team in what has, as stated already, been a frustrating season.

With the work that is underway to move the away section to Connaught Street next season to free up the Des Kelly Stand for Bohs fans, we are all looking forward to having even more people in the ground behind us. We want to give our community something to cheer about. Hopefully we can get the buzz and energy back into this historic stadium, and really have a go at bringing silverware back to Dalymount Park.

It has been a really tough year off the pitch also with the devastating loss of club legend Mono, and as a club that takes care of our own, we will always remember and support Derek’s wife Elayne and young family.

Another incredible servant to our club, Lynn O’Neill, retires at the end of the season and we thank Lynn for an unbelievable 40 years’ service to Bohemian Football Club and wish her every happiness in her retirement. I urge as many supporters as possible to come out and support her testimonial game here on Friday November 11th where real Bohs legends will play in her honour. Tickets are available from

To finish my first message to the fans, please continue to get behind the team and I look forward to building a squad for next season that we will all be proud of.

Enjoy the game,



Bohemians are once again without the injured Jon McCraken, James Talbot, Ryan Burke, Laurenz Dehl, Tyreke Wilson, John O’Sullivan, Chris Lotefa, Johnny Afolabi and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe.

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