“We’re doing well so far but we’re not yet where we want to be”

FINN HARPS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Saturday August 15 2020
Finn Park, Ballybofey, 2pm

Dan Casey says Bohemians’ strength in depth in this season is keeping everyone on their toes.

With the season halved, there will be fewer chances for players to stake their claim for a first-team place in the coming months.

But that has only served to make training even more competitive with every man chomping at the bit to make Keith Long’s starting XI.

Casey, who returned to Dalymount Park this year after a season-long stint with Cork City, said: “There is great strength and depth in the squad now. Any player in the squad is capable of coming into the team.

“The lads who aren’t in the team at the moment are raring to go and want to play so that’s pushing us all on in training.

“Keith and Trevor Croly keep pushing us. We’re doing well so far but we’re not yet where we want to be.”

Two wins from two since the restart of the league a fortnight ago sees the Gypsies up to second place.

First, an early Andre Wright strike was enough to claim victory on Leeside against Casey’s former club, before first-half goals from Danny Grant and Keith Buckley gave Bohs a 2-1 win over champions Dundalk.

The margin of both victories probably flattered the opposition, with the Gypsies playing some attractive stuff and creating plenty of opportunities.

Casey, 22, said: “It’s been great. Everyone is enjoying every minute of it but we’re not getting carried away.

“We’ve got a good style of play, which we are always working on and have good pace in the team with Danny Grant and Kris Twardek capable of hurting teams. I wouldn’t fancy playing against them!

“We’ve leaders in the team too, Keith Buckley is a captain very similar to Derek Pender who helps us through the bad patches.

“Dundalk have been one of the best teams in the league for several years now, so we were pleased with the result and how we played. We could have got a couple more.

“But that was last week and we can’t dwell on it. We’ve a huge game today that we are all fully focused on.”

With an unfamiliar early Saturday afternoon kick-off time, the Gypsies stayed overnight, travelling to Donegal yesterday evening.

Harps have had three defeats from three since the resumption of the league season and Cork City’s 3-0 win over Sligo Rovers yesterday saw Ollie Horgan’s side slip to the bottom of the table.

But Bohs have been burned in Ballybofey enough times over the years to take anything for granted, and Harps’ 1-0 win at home to St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday in the FAI Cup served as a reminder that they are capable of causing an upset.

Casey added: “Ballybofey is always one of the toughest places to go in the country. Harps really know how to make the most of home advantage. So we’re up here confident and with a game-plan, but we’re certainly not cocky. Harps are a capable side.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians will be without Cristian Magerusan (knee), Ross Tierney (ankle) and Paddy Kirk (ankle).
Danny Mandroiu (hip) is a doubt.

Preview: Bohemians v Dundalk
SSE Airtricity League
Friday August 8 2020
Dalymount Park, 5.45pm

All his focus is on Dundalk tonight but Andy Lyons will have a keen interest in another Bohemians game this weekend as girlfriend Annmarie Byrne lines out for the club’s first-ever game in the top tier of the Women’s National League.

The men’s team host the league champions at Dalymount this evening before attention turns to an historic day for the club when the women’s team travel south east to take on Wexford Youths in their season opener.

Andy said: “It’s great for the club and Annmarie is really looking forward to it. They have been made feel really welcome and appreciated by the club.

“She already has a feel for Dalymount and the club as whole from being to games and they can’t wait to get started.

“The club want to treat the women’s team with the same amount of respect as the men’s team. That’s the aim and that’s the way it should be.”

Annmarie, who joined at the start of the year having previously played for Kilkenny and Lucan United, said: “I’m really looking forward to finally getting started. It’s a great opportunity for us all.

“We haven’t had many games together for obvious reasons this year so we don’t know what to expect.

“I was familiar with the club and went to games before I met Andy. There’s a great atmosphere in Dalymount at games and there is a great buzz around this team too.

“We have really been welcomed by the club and were spoken to about the club’s history and ethos by directors this week which gave us even more for a feel for it.

“It’s an historic step for the club and we’re delighted that we are the ones making it.”

Despite playing on the right wing, Annmarie will wear the No 2 jersey – the same number worn by right-back Andy. She added: “It wasn’t my choice, it was given to me!”

Annmarie Byrne

For Andy, who celebrated his 20th birthday last Sunday with a 1-0 win away to Cork City, the number one priority right now is how to get the better of the standard-bearers of recent seasons this evening.

He said: “I first played against Dundalk when I was 17 and it was an experience! You were left under no illusions as to how good they are and what we will be up against again tonight.

“They have some excellent players and it’s up to us to try and match that.

“Having only 12 games left to go means you have to really focus your minds on those. It was a long break from football and it’s a strange season.

“But we are looking forward to the games now and we’ll see what comes our way in the FAI Cup and Europe too, which we are all looking forward to.”

Bohs made a positive start to the recommencement of the 2020 season as Andre Wright’s early goal was enough to take maximum points on Leeside.

Lyons added: “Turner’s Cross is never easy. Our record down there hasn’t been the best in recent years. It was important that we got the three points and hopefully we can build some momentum from that.

“It is weird playing in empty stadiums – everyone is saying it. But I’m only two years with the first team really so I was used to playing in empty stadiums for the U17s and U19s.

“But it is a big change from what we are used to with the first team. There’s no point anyone dwelling on it too much. We just have to adapt to it.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians will be without Cristian Magerusan (knee), Ross Tierney (ankle) and Paddy Kirk (ankle).

Danny Mandroiu (hip) is a doubt but Glen McAuley (concussion) returns.[/toggle]

“Even without them being in the ground, our fans continue to motivate this team.”

Preview: Cork City v Bohemians
Sunday August 2 2020, Turner’s Cross, 5pm
Live on WatchLOI

Bohemians may be playing in front of virtually empty stadiums for the foreseeable future but the backing they have received from supporters is driving them on now more than ever.

149 days have passed since the Gypsies last took to the field in the SSE Airtricity League – a 2-0 victory over Shelbourne at Dalymount Park back in March with second-half goals from Andre Wright and Danny Mandroiu.

The intervening period has presented great challenges right across the globe but in a time of extraordinary adversity, Bohemians will mark our 130th year with renewed resolve.

The strength of the bond between players and supporters, which has blossomed under Keith Long since he took charge ahead of the 2015 season, was there for all to see as members, season ticket holders, sponsors and the wider Bohemian community dug deep over the course of the lockdown since March.

Those endeavours ensured that staff and players wages were paid in full and averted the potentially catastrophic financial impact of Covid-19 that could have seen the great strides made in recent seasons unravel.

Had the challenges posed by the pandemic hit in any number of seasons gone by, it is doubtful that the club would have been in a position to honour contracts. Now Long and his team are keen to repay the backing they have received from supporters between now and the end of the truncated 2020 season.

Long said: “Even without them being in the ground, our fans continue to motivate this team. Without their backing over the past four months or so, we might not be here.

“They’ve been right behind us when we’ve been on the pitch for the years I’ve been here and they’ve been right behind us during this difficult period too.

“That’s in the back of everyone’s mind – the players don’t need any reminding that without the support of the members, season ticket holders, sponsors and everyone else at the club, things could have been so much different.

“It has been a challenging time for everyone so for us to receive the level of backing we have in that context hasn’t gone unnoticed by anyone.

“We will collectively be doing our utmost between now and the end of the season to repay that faith.”

Playing in empty stadiums will get some getting used to.

From the roar of the Jodi Stand when the team enters the pitch at Dalymount Park to the boisterous vocal away support received the length and breadth of the country, this Bohs team is used to strong backing wherever they play.

Long said: “There’s certainly an element of unknown going into this and it is up to us to adapt quickly.

“It’s obviously going to be very different to what we are used to. There is normally a large home support at Turner’s Cross and we normally bring a good travelling support down too.

“But we are determined that wherever our fans are watching the stream of the game that we can go out and give them a good performance and result. We are really looking forward to it.”

Bohs have had four friendly games in recent weeks to get the team back up to speed with wins at home to Derry City and Longford Town, and defeats away to Dundalk and Linfield.

Long added: “We’ve played a good level of opposition in warm-up games but this is the real deal and we have to be ready.

“This is about getting off to a positive start. But it won’t be easy. We’ve never had it easy down in Turner’s Cross.

“There are only 12 games remaining after this one so we know we are going to have to be up to speed from the very start.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians will be without Cristian Magerusan (knee), Glen McAuley (concussion) and Paddy Kirk (ankle).[/toggle]

“Our fans’ vocal support, passion and patience will be vital for us”

BOHEMIAN FC v SHELBOURNE FC
SSE Airtricity League
Friday March 6, Dalymount Park, 8pm

Keith Long says Bohemians need to show courage and determination in tonight’s Dublin derby against Shelbourne.

Tonight’s opposition have started well following their promotion from the First Division under the guidance of Ian Morris, once a protege of Long.

In their three games thus far, they have won two and lost one ahead of tonight’s first league meeting between Bohs and Shels in seven years, claiming all three points away to Cork City and most recently at home to St Pat’s.

Shels came close to pulling off a shock result against Long’s men in the FAI Cup last season, leading 2-0 with nine minutes remaining before a Danny Mandroiu masterclass inspired Bohs to a memorable 3-2 victory.

Revenge will be on their mind when the sides kick off at 8pm this evening.

READ MORE

Long said: “Our opposition will not make it easy for us. We should embrace this because it makes us better. We need to fight every day and in every game and for every second.

“If we have the right mindset of courage and a willingness to learn, we can achieve great things.

“Our fans’ vocal support, passion and patience will be vital for us and I look forward to them helping us on this journey as they have done.”

Bohs come into the game with two wins and two defeats from their opening four games.

Last time out at Dalymount 10 days ago, they ran out 2-0 winners against Sligo Rovers.

Long said: “We came out of the traps and scored an early goal. This came about as a result of our willingness to run forward and force errors from our opponents.

“We played with good tempo in the opening period but we could not get a second goal.

“In the second half, again we had chances primarily through Glen McCauley and on another day he could have had a couple of goals.

“Instead, we had to wait until the final minute of the 90 to secure the points through Kris Twardek’s first goal for the club.”

But the positivity from that result came unstuck with a disappointing result and performance at the Brandywell four days later where Derry City claimed a 2-0 victory.

Long added: “Our last game was a disappointing one. We did not play to our potential and while there was very little between the teams, we didn’t do enough to stress the opposition as much as we would have liked and didn’t work their goalkeeper enough throughout the game.

“We lacked the understanding and quality needed to break a team like Derry down.

“We did have some chances, JJ Lunney had an effort narrowly wide in the first half and we felt Keith Ward’s effort – at a time in the game when we were starting to exert pressure on the opposition – was over the line.

“The referee, Derek Tomney, who was in a great position thought otherwise and we have to respect his decision.

“Our vantage point at the side wasn’t ideal but a large portion of the defender’s leg was over the line when he cleared the ball, suggesting that the ball did in fact cross the line.

“If we had got ahead, it’s a different game for us but we lacked cohesion and the understanding to break our opponents down afterwards.

“We are developing a way to play but along the way, there will be setbacks like that.

“You will see misplaced passes, you will see mistakes but these are all part of the process and are essential in getting us to where we want to be, which takes courage and it takes hard work.”

TEAM NEWS

Dinny Corcoran (groin) and James Talbot (ankle) are out, while James Finnerty (calf) remains doubtful.

Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) is out for the season.

“The lads walk out and see what it means to the people who travel around the country behind us”

DERRY CITY v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday February 28 2020, Ryan McBride Stadium, 7.45pm

Bohemians are looking to build on a positive week when they travel to face Derry City at the Brandywell tonight.

The Gypsies’ season opener defeat in injury-time against Shamrock Rovers has been put behind them with successive 2-0 victories against Waterford and Sligo Rovers respectively.

Manager Keith Long said: “We were very good down in the RSC against Waterford in horrendous conditions.

“Against Sligo on Monday, we started very well and got ahead early on through Danny Mandroiu. We could have made life a bit easier for ourselves when we were converted chances we had when we were on top.

“Sligo made us sweat as a result then in the last 15 minutes or so and had their own opportunities before we got the second through Kris Twardek late on.

READ MORE

“But we’ve two 2-0 wins and two clean sheets for Stephen McGuinness in his first two games for the club so I’m pleased.”

McGuinness is one of several new players tasting first-team football at Bohs for the first time.

His chance to impress came sooner than expected after being drafted into the team following a foot injury suffered by regular first-choice keeper James Talbot against Shamrock Rovers a fortnight ago.

Having a strong pool of players available and ready to slot in when required will be key for Bohs’ attempts to consolidate last year’s third-place finish. Various injury crises over the course of last season saw the Gypsies falter on occasion but there is a feeling that there is greater strength in depth this time around.

Long said: “It’s still very early in the season, we’re only three games in. But we’re going to again have a disproportionate amount of games in the first half of the season so we need to use our squad and be able to call on players who are capable of stepping in.

“We’ve seen Kris Twardek come in and do very well for us so far in the games he’s played and opened his account for us on Monday. Stephen McGuinness has come in and kept two clean sheets.

“Glen McAuley gives us different options up front too. He’s a different kind of player to Dinny Corcoran or Andre Wright. He’s worked very hard over the last two games and his efforts probably deserved a goal.

“We’ve got good competition for places in various positions. Anto Breslin played the first two games and did very well at left-back but Paddy Kirk came in on Monday night and was excellent, so you’ve two good players going head to head for the one position and pushing each other.”

The Gypsies were unbeaten in four league games against Declan Devine’s Candystripes last season, winning one and drawing three, but there wasn’t a whole lot between the teams and just three points separated Bohs in third and Derry in fourth in the final league standings.

Long is expecting another close encounter tonight against a side who lost their opening game of the season 1-0 to champions Dundalk before needing a late equaliser to secure a point against rivals Finn Harps last week.

Long said: “The Brandywell is a great stadium to play in so we are looking forward to it. There has been very little between the sides last year.

“They’ve lost some players but they’ve brought in new faces too, some we’re familiar with, some less so.

“They have the advantage going into this game of having not played on Monday, so they’ll have been able to prepare well and will be fresh whereas we still have people recovering.

“They acquitted themselves well against Dundalk, despite losing. We know it will always be difficult against them and they’ll be looking for three points.”

Long hopes Bohs’ bid to get a result at the Ryan McBride Stadium will once again be assisted by a vocal travelling support encouraging them from the off. An away support of 450 did just that last week against Waterford.

He added: “Every time we go to the Brandywell, we tend to bring a good crowd with us. It’s really important to have that backing behind us.

“It was huge for us last season and most memorably in the cup the season before.

“It might be a cliche but it’s true that a big travelling support after a long journey really gives the lads a big lift.

“They walk out on to the pitch and they get to see what it means to the people who travel around the country and get behind us.

“We brought a massive support down to Waterford last week in horrendous conditions and that was significant to our players.”

TEAM NEWS

Dinny Corcoran (groin), James Finnerty (calf) and James Talbot (ankle) remain doubtful.

Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) is out for the season.

Website by Simon Alcock