“Nobody is feeling sorry for themselves – it’s been an extremely positive week in training”

Preview: Bohemians v Waterford
SSE Airtricity League
Friday October 5, 7.45pm, Dalymount Park

K[/dropap]eith Long says Bohemians have put last week’s controversial FAI Cup semi-final behind them and are determined to extend their unbeaten run to 11 games.

Bohs looked to have one foot in the final after taking a deserved 1-0 lead through Dinny Corcoran against Cork City on Sunday.

But the disputed decision to award the Leesiders a penalty three minutes from time was enough for John Caulfeld’s side to earn a replay between the sides this Monday at Turner’s Cross.

Bohs’ initial allocation of 500 away tickets sold out earlier this afternoon with an additional 100 set to go on sale tomorrow.


The Bohs supporters are up for the Cup – and Long’s men certainly are too. 

He said: “Nobody is feeling sorry for themselves. It’s been an extremely positive week in training.

“Obviously the manner in which they equalised was very disappointing at the time and hard to take but you move on from that.

“When I left Dalymount on Sunday night and put the disappointment to one side, the hunger for the club to be involved in more big games and occasions like that took over.

“We’re not out of it, we just have to do it the hard way. We are very much in this tie and we will go to Cork confident.

“We know we will be up against it. Cork are an excellent side there will be a big home crowd down there but we will have a big following of our own behind us.”

But before they can focus all their energy on that, there is the small matter of taking on Waterford tomorrow.

The Blues are in fourth, the Gypsies in fifth but ten points separate them.

Realistically Bohs’ main aim is to consolidate their current position, with only goal difference separating them and St Pat’s in sixth.

Games against Alan Reynolds’ side have been frustrating ones for Bohs this season, losing twice and drawing once.

Efforts to address that record tomorrow are all the more challenging with Long feeling it necessary to freshen his side up ahead of Monday’s Cork rematch.

When he last made wholesale changes to his starting team – 11 in fact – an experimental Bohs side came from behind to beat St Patrick’s Athletic 3-1 away from home two weeks ago.

Long’s options are more restricted this time around though as some of the budding Bohemians who came in and starred that day played a challenging game in the Uefa Youth League last night when Craig Sexton’s U19s lost 2-1 away to FC Midtjylland.

Long said: “It would be foolhardy not to have one eye on Monday’s game so we will obviously change things up a little.

“But our hands are tied on that front to a certain extent too. Of the players you’d like to bring into the squad, four of them – Andy Lyons, Ali Reghba, Promise Omochere and Ryan Graydon – played a draining game last night.

“So we have to be mindful of that and manage our squad correctly as we don’t want to be pushing players too much.

“But we have a group of players who are pushing each other themselves all the time so I’m confident the team we put out will give a good account of themselves.

“They’ve been tight affairs against Waterford this season. 

“We’ve drawn one and lost twice to them but they were games we felt that we left points behind and where our performances deserved more so we want to get a result tomorrow and consolidate our place in the table.”


Ryan Swan (cruciate) and Ryan Masterson (thigh) are the only players ruled out but Bohs are expected to make changes ahead of Monday’s FAI Cup semi-final against Cork City.

“They’ll have no fear and are determined to get a positive result”

FC Midtjylland v Bohemians U19s

Wednesday October 3, Arena Herning, 5.30pm (6.30pm local time)

The Bohemians U19s will line out in the Uefa Youth League for the first time tomorrow “with no fear and determined to get a positive result.”

Competition eligibility rules mean some of Craig Sexton’s regulars will have to sit this tournament out but the 2017 SSE Airtricity League U19 champions and 2018 Enda McGuill Cup winners’ successes over the past 18 months gives them every reason to be positive.

While some star men such as now first-team regular Danny Grant and Jamie Hamilton were among the unlucky ones not to meet the criteria, there are five players in the travelling party who have already tasted senior football under Keith Long, while goalkeeper Seán Bohan has been a regular on the bench.


Steven Nolan made his first-team breakthrough last season and has featured in senior squads again this term, while U19s skipper Andy Lyons has deputised in the place of first-team captain Derek Pender at times this season and delivered mature performances way beyond his 18 years.

Lyons was one of four of the team that will play tomorrow who featured in the first team’s Dublin derby win over St Patrick’s Athletic 10 days ago – the others being winger Ryan Graydon, two-goal debutant Ali Reghba and pacey attacker Promise Omochere.

Sexton said: “Some of the boys didn’t meet the criteria, which is disappointing but we have a strong group who I believe will be strongly competitive and positive as they always have been.

“The issue around eligibility for the compeitition are what they are but they are kinder to the winter leagues rather than summer leagues.

“But in this group we have young boys who have done really well over the last 18 months. They will play with no fear and are determined to get a positive result tomorrow.

“We want to bring the tie back to Dalymount in three weeks’ time and show people what we are about.”

The budding Gypsies had an early start and a long day’s travel today, catching a 6.25am flight from Dublin to London Stansted, a connecting flight at 11.30 to Aarhus and a coach journey to Herning.

Sexton said: “I was actually expecting the travel to be harder on the boys but they’re grand.

“We’ll get to train later but it will be quite light. We’ll get the travelling out of their legs, have a bit of fun and then get them refocused on to the game.

“We’ll look at some video and analysis and get them prepared for tomorrow.”

Reaching this competition is the culmination of a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes at youth level, which has been complemented this season by working closely with new partners St Kevin’s at U17 and U15 level.

Sexton added: “It’s a great experience for everyone. Getting able to travel, coming across to play in a different culture is what we should be striving for all the time for young players.

“To do it in a competitive environment is great for them. It creates a real edge for them.

“Everyone at the club has bought into it. They know the U19s have done the extremely proud and we’ve had brilliant support from the club.

“Hopefully long may it continue. We want to make being in the UEFA Youth League a habit and everyone in the first team is striving to get to Europe too.

“Right through from the partnership teams with St Kevin’s at U15s and U17s, there is huge effort being made to bring players through.

“The link with St Kevin’s is already bearing fruits with the U15s and U17s and we will see that come through then in the next year or two for the U19s.

“It’s been fantastic. The U17s have gone 20 games unbeaten, which is phenominal. Hopefully they can see that through into the knockout phase as Jimmy Mowlds and the boys deserve it.

“They were desparetely unlucky to lose to Cork in the final last year but they’ve been brilliant. When they players move from U17s to U19s, they make the transition quickly because they’ve already been in a competitive environment and that stands them in good stead.”

Bohemians U19 squad: Seán Bohan, Jamie Cleary, Alex Nevin; Michell Byrne, Seamus Curley, Warren Curran, Andrew Lyons, Peter Adigun, Thomas Considine; Dylan Thornton, Alex Kelly, Josh Dunne, Conor O’Neill, Ryan Graydon, Arturs Balavins; Ross Tierney, Ali Reghba, Promise Omochere, Steven Nolan.

“People are talking us up and we can’t shy away from that”

Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup semi-final
Sunday September 30, Dalymount Park, 5.45pm

Keith Long says Bohemians are hungry, measured and determined to build on the recent feelgood factor at Dalymount Park and reach the promised land of an FAI Cup final.

Bohs welcome 2017 league and cup double winners Cork City to Dalymount this evening with the Gypsies looking to reach a cup final for the first time in ten years.

Getting there will be easier said than done. But after winning nine games in a row, Long admits there is a measured confidence about his team.

Nobody is getting ahead of themselves, but the optimism is shared on the terraces too – the home stand for this game sold out in less than two days and will be bouncing this evening.

Long said: “It’s a really important game. We’re looking forward to it. We’re on a good run of form.


“We will be up against it against a strong Cork side. But we feel that we are ready. The boys are hungry to do well.

“If we play well we know we have a chance. We’ll have a big crowd behind us. The feelgood factor is good around the club. People are talking us up and we can’t shy away from that.

“We’ve had barren spells earlier in the season, so we have to enjoy the moment and do all we can to keep it going.”

These sides met two weeks ago in the league at the same venue with Bohs pulling off a 4-2 victory to derail City’s bid to retain their league title.

John Caulfield’s side will be eyeing revenge and Long said: “Our last game against Cork is immaterial. They’ll have players back – Alan Bennett, Kieran Sadlier.

“Cork will be stronger than they were in the league game. That will have no bearing on this. Obviously it was important that we won that game and it kept up the good run of form we’ve been on.

“But we’ve been beaten three times by them this season prior to that so we know we have to be at our very best against them.

“We’re in a good run of form and people will rightly point to that as we’re coming into the game with confidence but when you look at where Cork are in the table, I don’t consider ourselves favourites.”

Bohs come into this game refreshed after Long started an entirely different starting XI at last Saturday’s 3-1 derby win away to St Patrick’s Athletic.

Given the experimental nature of the team, it was perhaps one of the most notable of the Gypsies’ nine wins in a row.

Long said: “It would have been foolhardy to play players 68 hours after running themselves into the ground in Derry so we felt we had to make 11 changes last week.

“It was a really rewarding display for everyone at the club and for everyone associated with bringing those players through.

“You could see the potential of the boys we have here, which has been strengthened further with our partnership with St Kevin’s.

“The players came in and showed what they’re capable of. We went a goal down very early in the game and the manner in which they responded to that made it an even more pleasing performance.

“It took 15/20 minutes for the team to find their feet but once they settled down and played their stuff, they grew into the game.

“They’ve given me food for thought, not just for next season but for this game too. Fellas have come in, they’ve put their hand up, they’ve done well and are in the reckoning to feature.”


Bohs are at full strength bar long-term absentee Ryan Swan (cruciate) and Ryan Masterson (thigh).

“Motivation is high across the squad”

SSE Airtricity League
Saturday September 22, Richmond Park, 5.30pm

Keith Long believes a Dublin derby is ‘the perfect game’ to refocus Bohemians after the highs of their FAI Cup quarter-final win away to Derry City on Wednesday night.

A clinical performance from the Gypsies made it eight wins in a row – the club’s best run in 10 years – with a memorable 3-1 victory in the Brandywell in front of 300 travelling Bohs fans.

Long said: “It’s a quick turnaround having played Wednesday. But we’re not complaining, it’s a great problem to have. We’re delighted to be in the semi-finals of the Cup.

“Wednesday was an excellent performance and a memorable night for the players, staff and supporters. It’s something we hope we can build on.

“Even though it was a midweek fixture, we had incredible support behind us from the off.


“The players were spurred on by that from the moment they stepped out on to the pitch. It was special.

“Derry threw caution to the wind in the second half to a certain extent so we are delighted to be sitting here with a semi-final to look forward to.”

The high tempo and energy-sapping manner of Bohs’ performance on Wednesday mean Long will need to freshen up his side for the short trip to face his former club at Richmond Park.

He said: “We have to listen to players and their bodies. Wednesday took a lot out of the players both physically and emotionally.

“We’ll have at least one change forced upon us with Derek Pender ruled out after suffering a head injury.

“We’ve other players who have niggles who we need to manage too. But we have a squad we believe in and players who can come in and step up to the mark when called upon.

“It’s an important game, it’s a Dublin derby, so it’s the perfect game to come back into after Wednesday as there’s a lot at stake again.

“Motivation is high across the squad. Everyone is pushing each other for game-time.”

And the manager is expecting another close game as his side look to make it nine wins in a row.

He added: “There’s only three points between the sides and there’s been very little between the teams over the past number of seasons.

“That’s been the case again this season – we’ve lost one, drawn one and won one against them so we expect it to be close.”


Derek Pender (head injury), Cristian Magerusan (hamstring), Ryan Masterson (thigh) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) are all ruled out. Darragh Leahy (quad) is a doubt.

Danny Grant (bug) returns to the squad where he will be joined by U19 team-mates Andy Lyons, Jamie Hamilton, Ryan Graydon, Promise Omochere and Ali Reghba.


Wednesday September 19, The Brandywell, 7.45pm

Two teams full of confidence come face to face when Derry City host Bohemians in the Irish Daily Mail FAI Cup quarter-final tomorrow.

On Friday, Bohs made it seven wins in all competitions for the first time in ten years with the most impressive result of the lot – a comprehensive 4-2 victory at Dalymount Park derailing Cork City’s bid to retain their league title.

On Sunday, tomorrow’s hosts collected the first major silverware of the domestic season when they dispatched Cobh Ramblers 3-1 at The Brandywell to lift the EA Sports Cup.

Bohs’ recent run of form included a confident 2-0 win when these sides last met at the Brandywell on August 31, which ended a run of 10 defeats in a row against Kenny Shiels’ side.


But Bohs manager Keith Long is not one to look back or allow his side to pat themselves on the back for recent results.

He said: ”Our league win up there a few weeks ago will have no bearing on this game. We’re obviously on a good run but Derry will be on a high after winning the EA Sports Cup on Sunday too.

“There is a lot at stake for both clubs, it’s a huge game. But we are looking forward to it.

“We’re going into the game focused and having prepared professionally. It’s two teams coming into the game feeling they can win it. Something will have to give.”

This is the third round running where Bohs have had to travel away from home.

They enjoyed bumper support in the previous rounds when they got the better of First Division sides Wexford and Galway United 7-0 and 2-0 respectively.

With the Gypsies faithful lapping up recent results, Long is hoping for another strong presence in The Brandywell’s away section, despite the inconvenient scheduling of this fixture.

Long added: “It’s unfortunate it’s on a Wednesday but we think we’ll have good support behind us going up there.

“We’ve always had good support but even more so in recent months.

“The lads got a standing ovation against Cork at half-time on Friday, never mind full-time. That means a lot to them and it’s fantastic for their confidence.

“Derry are at home and will have a huge crowd behind them but we know we can count on our travelling support to be behind us all the way.”


Ryan Masterson (quad), Danny Grant (bug) and Darragh Leahy (groin) remain doubts. Cristian Magerusan (hamstring) and Ryan Swan (cruciate) are ruled out once more.

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