Preview: Shamrock Rovers v Bohemians

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday September 1 2023, Tallaght Stadium, 7.45pm
Live on Virgin Media 2

Declan Devine says Bohemians come into tomorrow’s Dublin Derby away to Shamrock Rovers with confidence and self-belief.

Bohs lost the first two games against their rivals this season but battled from 2-0 down to draw 2-2 the last time the sides met, and Devine is aiming to go one better in Tallaght tomorrow.

He said: “There has been very little between the sides in the games we have played so far. In the first game we played against them at home, we were very good in the opening period, the game in Tallaght was decided by a decision that should have gone our way, and it was pleasing that we came from behind in the last game.

“But this is a brand new game. We are coming into it in fantastic form. We come into it with a lot of confidence and self-belief.

“We also know that they have been champions for the past three seasons for a reason. If we want to close that gap, and finish this season strongly, then this is a pivotal game for us.

“We need to match the performances that we have put on of late. We are away from home but we have won away from home in Inchicore and in the Brandywell this season, so we want to get maximum points in Tallaght too.

“We have spoken all week about how we will have to be at our very, very best. The one thing I will give this group of players is that they never give in and they never stop. That is what is going to be required in Tallaght.

“We are going to have to give everything for the duration of the game. I feel that our squad will again be crucial as I think it will be a game where we will have to use 14 or 15 players to participate.

“We are looking forward to the game. It hasn’t been over-hyped and we have prepared in the same way as we have for our last seven or eight games, which thankfully have gone well for us.”

Bohs come into the game unbeaten in eight – six in the league and two in the FAI Cup – which Devine hopes will stand to his side against Rovers, who are chasing their fourth league title in a row, as he looks to send supporters home happy.

He said: “It is pleasing that we have had the experience of the last few weeks of playing two really high level games of St Pat’s in Inchicore and Derry in Dalymount.

“Now we go to Tallaght again in front of the cameras. We have been fortunate that our players have played in front of big crowds all year, so that shouldn’t frighten us. We have also been involved in a lot of TV games this year, so that shouldn’t frighten us either.

“Our fans this year have travelled the length and breadth of Ireland to support and back us. The noise levels that they have generated, and the togetherness that we feel between the squad and the fans, is something that we should continue to try and build.

“It doesn’t matter if we are going to Tallaght or Dalymount, I want the fans to get right behind the team in both good moments and difficult moments, and for that to support to translate onto the pitch. If we continue to do that, the sky’s the limit for this group.”

Devine believes the competition for places within the group has been key to recent form, pointing to the example of James Clarke, who had to bide his time earlier in the season, but has been a star performer in recent weeks, scoring in three of Bohs’ four games this month.

Devine added: “At this moment in time, it is extremely difficult to be in my shoes trying to pick a starting XI. There are players there like James McManus, James Akintunde, Kris Twardek, Declan McDaid, Ali Coote, Bart Kukulowicz – players who probably feel they should be starting. But the competition for places is immense.

“Earlier in the season, for example, James Clarke was coming on and playing roles towards the latter stages of the game. But he is at a peak now where he is absolutely thriving at the minute.

“He is only 22 years of age and is getting better every week. His application to his football is second to none. He is not only a goalscoring threat from midfield, but his passing and penetration have been at the highest level.

“Long may it continue with James as I think we are only scratching the surface with him. He has only been at the club a year and I think over the next year or two, he can really develop into a top level player. The potential that the boy has is incredible.

“Just to see him playing with a smile on his face, and the energy he brings, is a joy. He has physically developed over the last six or seven months. He has got a fantastic understanding, not just with Jonathan Afolabi, but with his fellow midfield players behind him.

“But he has to be on top of his game because we have so many players competing for positions. That is something that is keeping everyone on his toes.

“With James, any time we have asked him to do something or give him a task, he has done it. He has had setbacks this year where he hasn’t been in the team but he never threw the towel in, never moped about, and never huffed and puffed.

“He kept working hard, kept his head down, made impacts coming off the bench, and finally really established himself. That is testament to his mentality, his determination, and to how much he loves playing for Bohs.

“With players like James Clarke, James McManus and Jonathan Afolabi, our age profile is good – there is a lot of growth and development from this young squad to come. And those kinds of players epitomise the potential we have to move the place forward in the coming years.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians have a full squad to choose from.

  • Tomorrow’s game is being shown live on Virgin Media 2. The Members Bar at Dalymount Park is open for the game, with all pints €5.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday August 25 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on LOITV

Declan Devine says Bohemians’ recent form has earned his players the right to dine at the top table and he believes there is a real determination within the group that they want more.

Tomorrow, fourth-placed Bohs host third-placed Derry City at Dalymount Park.

The sides are level on 46 points, one off second-placed St Pat’s and five off league leaders Shamrock Rovers, but with the Candystripes ahead on goal difference and with a game in hand.

Bohs come into this game on the back of a professional 6-0 win, played in attrocious conditions, against Munster Senior League side Rockmount at Dalymount last week, which set up an FAI Cup quarter-final date away to Drogheda United next month.

The visitors, on the other hand, come into the game after two cruel penalty shootout defeats – first in the UEFA Conference League against Kazakh side Tobol Kostanay and then against St Pat’s in the FAI Cup.

Devine is aware of the threat that such a talented side who are hurting can pose, but says his focus in the run-up to this game has been all on Bohs.

He said: “Derry have had a tough week. They will have been extremely disappointed going out of two competitions in a week. They will be hurting, and we know what they are capable of. But at the same time, our focus is on us. We have to take care of our side of things.

“For us, it has been a real positive week in training in terms of our intensity and our quality. The players are fresh. We were able to rest a couple against Rockmount last week, which is important.

“Our recent form has earned our players the right to eat at the top table.

“We come into this game in really good form. We have five wins and two draws out of our last seven games, have scored 17 goals in our last six, 12 in our last four, and four clean sheets in our last five.

“So we are playing well, but we know that we are going to have to be at our very best when Derry come to Dalymount. Recent performances have given us the opportunity to go into the game with confidence and belief.

“Their performances over the course of the season have been at a very high level. Yes, we had a dip during the season but every other club has done the same at some point.

“You are only as good as your last game but our players have a tremendous belief and unity, and an understanding of the way we want to play. It is a very tight league this season, so with every performance, we have got to make sure we go for it.

“The way we have trained this week has probably been the highest level I’ve seen since I came to the club. The way they have trained this week sums the group up.

“They know that we have done well up to now, but I can feel it within this group that they want more. They want to have more unbelievable nights in Dalymount Park.

“Some of the atmospheres we have come off the pitch to, and the effort that the players have given the club, and the feeling of giving that effort and the praise they get from supporters afterwards – they are thriving off all of that and it is something they all want more of.

“They want to go out and spill blood, energy and commitment, and they want to maintain that relationship with the fans.

“Over the course of the last 10 games of this season, we want to build on that, and create memories that will last people a long time.

“But to do that, we have to realise that this is just another match, another game, and not think beyond that.

“A big rival is coming into our backyard, and we have to make sure we are at our very, very best and play with quality and energy right throughout the course of the game.”

There has been very little between Bohs and Devine’s former club this season. Bohs won 1-0 in the Brandywell in April, Derry did likewise at Dalymount in May, and the sides played out a 0-0 draw when they met on Foyleside in June.

Devine said: “We have played Derry three times, we’ve scored once past them, they’ve scored once past us and we both have four points from the three games.

“The turning point in the one game we have lost to them this season was going a man down after 14 minutes against them when we played them in Dalymount.

“No matter who you play, when you go down to 10 men so early, and concede so soon afterwards, it is going to be difficult. In saying that, we took the game to them despite being a man down.

“But this is a completely different ball game now at the business end of the season. This is the last phase of games when the prizes are at stake, and we cannot look past trying to get three points in this game.

“Whoever we play at Dalymount Park, we want to win. But to do that against Derry City, one of the top teams in the country, we know that we are going to have to go up the gears.

“We have to start the game really positively. But what we have been doing really well, right throughout the course of the season, has been finishing games strongly, with a lot of late goals, with players coming off the bench scoring and creating.

“I feel the latter stage of the game tomorrow is going to be key, so we have got to make sure we start the game with real vigour and energy while knowing that we have a bench capable of changing the game against anyone.”

TEAM NEWS

Everyone took a full part in training this week but this game might come too early for Dean Williams as he is eased back from his ankle injury.

  • There are currently a handful of Des Kelly Stand tickets remaining for this game, which can be purchased at tickets.bohemians.ie

Preview: Peamount United v Bohemians

SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division
Saturday August 19 2023, PLR Park, 7.35pm
Beo ar TG4/Live on TG4

The SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division makes its long-awaited return this weekend after the summer break and Bohemians are delighted to confirm the signings of Katie Malone and Rachel McGrath ahead of tomorrow’s game away to Peamount United.

Welcoming Rachel and Katie to Dalymount Park, manager Pat Trehy said:

“We are delighted to get them on board. We feel we have great competition for places right across the squad now and after such a long break everyone is really looking forward to getting back playing again.

“Katie joins after three years with DLR. She is a very talented forward. She is very quick, she’s sharp, and she knows where the goal is.

“Rachel is again a very talented right-sided winger. She brings real quality to the club, and is another great addition to the squad as we look to build on the run of form we have had and finish the season strongly.”

The extended summer break came as all eyes turned to Ireland’s historic first appearance at the Women’s World Cup perhaps came at the wrong time for Bohs.

A brilliant run of form saw Bohs unbeaten in seven games going into the break, in fourth place on 28 points, just two points off both Shelbourne and Shamrock Rovers in third and second, and six off league leaders Peamount, who they travel to face tomorrow evening’s game, which is being shown live on TG4.

Trehy said: “Sometimes summer breaks are useful in terms of getting players back fit from injury, and we are delighted that has been the case with Katie Burdis now back in contention to play again.

“It has been an exciting time for women’s football but we were on a great run of form before the break, unbeaten in seven games and in contention where we want the club to be at the top end of the table.

“Away to the league leaders is as difficult a first game back as we could get but we want to test ourselves against the very best.

“It’s live on TG4 and we are going there with the intention of building on the momentum that we had before the summer break.

“We all want to push on and finish as high up the table as we possibly can. We have seven games left in the league and we want to get as many points on the board between now and the end of the season.”

General admission to PRL Park tomorrow is  €10, and all kids go free. Fans can pay at the gate, and contactless payment is available.

Meanwhile, tickets to next Sunday’s (August 27) Sports Direct FAI Women’s Cup away to Cabinteely in the Carlisle Grounds can now be purchased online at https://cabinteelyfc.ie/senior-ladies-fai-cup/.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v ROCKMOUNT

Sports Direct FAI Men’s Cup Second Round
Friday August 18 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Tickets: tickets.bohemians.ie

Declan Devine says Bohemians must maintain recent performance levels to progress in the Sports Direct FAI Men’s Cup against Rockmount tomorrow.

Bohs’ entertaining 0-0 draw away to St Patrick’s Athletic in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division last week extended their unbeaten run to six games.

But Devine says his side can take nothing for granted and need to be mentally prepared for a tough game against Munster Senior League side Rockmount.

A 1-0 win over Shelbourne in the first round avenged last year’s embarrassing exit from the same competition against the same opposition, and now a place in the quarter-finals awaits the winners of tomorrow’s tie.

Devine said: “I am expecting us to be right at it from the very start. It is a game that we have prepared for really intensely all week.

“We spoke after last week’s game against St Pat’s that it was our sole focus all week – analysing our opposition as we always do and making sure our mental preparation is at the highest level.

“I don’t expect anything less from this group of players. There is serious competition for players, and we have a strong squad.

“I expect the players who take to the pitch to give everything of themselves. Having seen Rockmount at close hand last week, I understand the reason why they have won two junior cups, and I understand why they are the best team in Munster.

“We have got to prepare in the very same way we do for every game, and we have got to make sure we play to our highest level. We will have a very strong starting XI and a very strong bench if we need to change things up.”

Last week’s game at Richmond Park could have gone either way in a surprisingly end-to-end game considering both teams were kept scoreless.

A draw was perhaps the fairest outcome, and Devine was pleased with the bravery and quality of his side’s attacking performance, particularly in the second half.

He said: “We were the width of the crossbar away from getting a winner, and Adam Murphy threw his body on the line to block a Jordan Flores shot, and John had a chance in the last couple of minutes.

“So we had good chances in the game but we also gave them two or three opportunities – James Talbot had to pull off a great save.

“We’ve gone to Inchicore and have taken four points, we have gone to the Brandywell and have taken four points. These are difficult venues, and performances like that are what is required between now and the end of the season.

“Our performance levels were very high, we were very brave away from home against a really good team. We had a lot of quality. All those attributes will be needed to get us through to the next round of the cup.”

Tomorrow’s game comes one year and one day on from the tragic passing of much-loved and much-missed club volunteer and staff member Derek Monaghan, known to all as Mono.

Mono’s life was cut short before Devine’s arrival as first-team manager, but he is acutely aware of the void his loss has left at the club, and the high esteem in which he was held.

Devine added: “His name is brought up by players and staff on a weekly basis, you can see how highly regarded he was by everyone at the club and how much everyone misses him. His legacy here will live on.

“The legacy that he has left behind, and the fond memories and stories that everyone here has of him, is a testament to the man he was, and the family man he was, and the loving care that he gave to the club and everyone in it. People like Mono are what makes Bohs the special club it is.

“Obviously now we see the stand named in his honour, and having Bohs supporters in there against Rockmount will be very pleasing for all the players and staff who loved Mono, but also for his family and everyone connected to him and to the club. I hope they pack it out.

“He will be very much in our players’ thoughts when they take to the pitch. His name is on our jerseys for a reason, and hopefully come a quarter-to-ten tomorrow night, we will have done right by him.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians have a full squad to choose from, with Dean Williams returning to full training this week.

Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic v Bohemians

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday August 11 2023, Richmond Park, 7.45pm
Live on RTÉ 2

Declan Devine says neither side will need any extra motivation when Bohemians travel to Richmond Park to take on St Patrick’s Athletic in tonight’s Dublin derby.

Just a point separates the sides with St Pat’s, rejuvenated since Jon Daly took the reins in May, in second place in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division and Bohs in third.

Bohs come into the game buoyed by striker Jonathan Afolabi picking up the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month Award for July.

His rich vein of form – scoring nine goals in his last seven games – has been crucial to Bohs’ upturn in form.

Devine said: “He’s been awesome. It’s incredible for him because he’s been outstanding all year and then all of a sudden the goals are coming, and the hype surrounds him now, and that’s correct.

“He’s fully deserving of it and we hope now that he can keep pushing on because the sky’s the limit for him.

“He deserves the recognition and all the plaudits he is getting because he works so hard. He never misses training.

“He comes in every day and he’s got that big friendly, gentle smile on him but then he takes to the pitch and becomes an absolute monster for defenders.

“He is a really popular guy in the group. They are all very close, and I think the players understand and appreciate the work that he is putting in.

“He’s just such a nice person and I’m delighted for him, absolutely delighted for him, and delighted for the group as well because we all want individual recognition for our players.

“Hopefully that will be a catalyst now to finish the season strongly and should give him enormous confidence, and the team huge confidence.”

Bohs chalked up another home win last week when they beat Drogheda United 4-2 at Dalymount Park.

But having taken the lead as early as the second minute through Kacper Radkowski – the Pole’s first goal for the club – Devine was frustrated that his side allowed 10-man Drogs back into the game.

Devine said: “First and foremost, it was important that we won the game. But our game management is something we need to get better at, and we have spoken about that this week.

“At the same time, we were the dominant team. But it was disappointing that we let them back into it when they were down to 10 men.

“But I don’t think there is a team in the country that scores as many late goals as us and that is a credit to the players.

“Getting Kacper on the scoresheet was our 15th goalscorer this season in a tight squad, so it is pleasing that we have players all over the pitch capable of scoring.

“So there were positives to take out of the game, but at certain times of the game we let our standards drop and you can’t do that against a good side like Drogheda.”

He knows too that St Pat’s are a team with a pep in their step and capable of punishing such mistakes, but says his side are looking forward to heading to Inchicore with confidence and belief.

Devine added: “St Pat’s have a lot of good players and Jon has done a fantastic job since he’s come in there.

“But this is a Dublin Derby where two top teams go head to head. It’s gonna be full house and it’s live on the box, so there’s absolutely zero extra motivation needed for either team.

“We’ve got to make sure that when we play the game that we play with belief and we play with confidence because we deserve to play with belief and we deserve to play with confidence.

“So this is a game that we look forward to. It’s a game that certainly whets the appetite for everybody connected with both clubs.

“And it’s a venue that early in the season we were very good in, and performed very well there.

“In the home game we had a right go with ten men and we should have got a draw with ten men. So there’s been very little between the two teams all year.

“It is set up for a game where I think both teams will give a right go. We’ve got to just make sure that we give ourselves every opportunity to go there and win the game by being defensively solid but also as creative as we have been in the final third.”

TEAM NEWS

Dean Williams is Bohs’ only absentee.

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