SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 15th August, 7.45pm

Bohemians are looking to break a winless and goal-less streak of three games when they welcome a rejuvenated Drogheda United to Dalymount Park on Friday night, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

The Boynesiders have been revitalised by the appointment of League of Ireland veteran Damien Richardson, and Bohs boss Owen Heary is expecting a stern test. “I expect a tough, physical game,” he said. “But I’m sure that we can respond after a good performance last week and try get the win.”

Drogs have frustrated the Gypsies this season. In March, Bohs squandered a two-goal lead and conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 in Dalymount. In May, Heary’s side conceded against the run of play for an unlucky 1-0 defeat at Hunky Dorys Park.


Heary said: “We dominated the game up there in May, had loads of chances, but they got the goal. Obviously with Eoin Wearen and Anto Murphy out, other players have a chance to step up and fight for a place in the team.”

After doing all-but score against UCD last Friday, Heary believes the team just need a bit of luck as they strive for a second home league win of the season. “We played very well, but just didn’t take our chances. The longer the game went on, the more frustrated we got in front of goal.

“These things happen in games – the positive thing is we kept a clean sheet – but we were still disappointed that we didn’t take our chances and win the game comfortably. ”

The Bohs manager is hoping his side can find confidence in front of goal after a difficult period in which his side drew blanks against Derry (0-4), Shamrock Rovers (0-2), and the Students (0-0).

“We’ll keep plugging away. We’ve proved earlier in the season that we can score goals. The good thing is that we are creating chances (as against UCD), so hopefully we can take a few and come away with the three points on Friday.”

Despite the difficult run, Heary has been pleased with the support from the fans, who have been extremely positive throughout the season. “The fans have been great. Although it’s a totally different atmosphere (away to UCD), they saw we were dominating the game and I think they were happy that we were just unfortunate in front of goal and that was it.”

Bohs will have to plan without in-form midfielder Eoin Wearen, who is suspended after picking up four yellow cards. Also unavailable is Anto Murphy, who dislocated his ankle against UCD. Heary is hopeful that a scan today (Thursday) will reveal no ligament damage, and clear Anto to return in six weeks.

Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com


SSE Airtricity League, UCD Bowl, Friday 8th August, 7.45pm

Owen Heary is hoping his Bohemians team can get ‘back to basics’ following two disappointing Bank Holiday weekend defeats. A 4-0 league loss to Derry was shadowed by a disappointing 2-0 EA Sports Cup semi-final defeat to bitter rivals Shamrock Rovers, but manager Heary believes the Gypsies can get back to winning ways this Friday against UCD, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

“We shifted six goals last week, which is unlike us,” said Heary. “We’ve worked hard this week to try and rectify that. It’s about getting back to doing what we were doing. Last week in Derry we didn’t have the intensity or the work-rate that we had shown in previous weeks.

“It’s tough for the lads who are working heading up to Derry, and especially with younger players it’s hard to get consistency week in, week out. But in fairness to the lads, they’ve been brilliant for most of the season and we just have to get back to basics.”


The UCD Bowl was the scene of an impressive opening night victory for Bohemians, but Heary is wary of a good footballing side under Aaron Callaghan. “In fairness to UCD, they are always looking to get on the ball and play out. We know it’s going to be a tough game, it’s a big pitch out there. UCD have had a couple of bad results of late but they’ve got all their players back for this weekend, so they’ll have a strong team out. But it’s important that we stick to our own game-plan, three points puts us right back up the table.”

Remarking on the unique atmosphere at UCD’s home games, the Bohs boss is hopeful that the ‘away majority’ at Belfield can spur his team on. “They are difficult games because the atmosphere is totally different – even when I was playing – you don’t get the abuse from UCD fans that you might get at Rovers or up in Derry. That could be a plus for us – if we get our fans behind us and cheering us on. Hopefully the fans get behind us like they have been all year, especially after the two bad defeats we have to try and bounce back together.”

Despite those defeats, Heary is still hopeful of a top-half finish and a Setanta Cup place for next season. He sees the next two fixtures against UCD and Drogheda as key games toward this target. “We know we need to beat these teams to stay ahead of the pack. UCD and Drogheda are at the level we’re at at the moment – so they’re two very big games in my opinion. We’re starting the last series of games and it would be great to get a win to hopefully put us in with a chance of a Setanta spot.”

Heary should have a full squad to choose from after Daniel Byrne’s recovery from tonsillitis. Kevin Devaney is also back in contention after a knock kept him out of Monday’s game.

Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com


EA Sports Cup semi-final, Dalymount Park, Monday 4th August, 7.30pm

Bohemian manager Owen Heary believes ‘there is no better way’ to bounce back from Friday’s defeat in Derry than by beating rivals Shamrock Rovers to reach a cup final, writes LUKE O’RIORDAN

Bohs’ impressive six-game unbeaten run ground to a halt in the Brandywell as the clinical Candystripes ran out 4-0 winners. It was the heaviest loss of Heary’s reign to date and he has challenged his side to make amends when Bohs welcome Rovers to Dalymount on Monday.

“We had two good chances in the opening few minutes to take the lead ourselves and if one of those had gone in, it could have been a different game,” he said.

“We lacked the work ethic that we’ve shown over the last while and the players know that themselves. But it was also a case of the intensity and effort that they’ve put into the last few games catching up on the lads too.


“It’s frustrating, as a result up there would have put us right in the mix to climb into the top half and also put us in contention for a Setanta Cup place.

“But there’s no better way to bounce back than by reaching a cup final and beating Rovers in the process. That should drive the players on.”

The build-up to Monday’s game has been dominated by managerial change and speculation at Shamrock Rovers, with Trevor Croly parting ways with the club after less than two years at the helm.

Croly’s former assistant John Gill is set to take the reins on Monday and Heary has warned his players to be ready for a backlash after Rovers’ shock 4-1 defeat in Limerick on Friday.

He said: “Rovers have so many players, it’s impossible to predict who’ll start, especially with the change in manager and after Friday’s result.

“For all we know, their next manager could be sitting in the crowd, so their players will be really looking to impress whoever that may be.”

As well as two league titles, Heary also completed a clean sweep of domestic cup competitions as Bohs captain, winning the FAI Cup (2008), EA Sports Cup (2009) and Setanta Sports Cup (2010).

And now he is determined to win his first trophy as a manager. He said: “Hopefully we can give the fans something to cheer about.

“Everyone at Bohs – the players, the staff, the board, the fans – would love to have the club back where it belongs contesting finals and winning trophies. That has to be our aim.

“It’s been a tough few years and a trophy would mean so much to everyone.”

Despite a few players feeling ‘leggy’ and ‘sore’ after Friday’s game, Heary once again has a full squad to choose from. “We will freshen things up a bit but there are no major injury concerns,” he added.


Two in-form teams meet on Friday night when seventh-placed Bohemians go to the Brandywell to take on sixth-placed Derry City, writes LUKE O’RIORDAN.

Bohs – unbeaten in six in all competitions – travel north buoyed having finally secured their first home league win of the season with an emphatic 2-0 victory against title challengers Cork City last Friday.

“We knew that win was coming,” said manager Owen Heary. “We’ve been playing well but a lot of little things have cost us at home all year: sendings-off, penalties, not taking our chances and some refereeing decisions.

“But we’ve been strong throughout. We’ve been creating a lot of chances but not taking enough of them – I would have been more worried if we weren’t creating opportunities and players weren’t getting into positions.


“Nobody really gave us a chance against St Pat’s or Cork City but we got four points out of those games, so we won’t be lacking in confidence.”

Heary, however, is expecting a tough test at the Brandywell. Bohs’ last win at the venue came in September 2009 – they have lost four and drawn one of their five games there since.

Just three points separate the sides now with Derry sixth on 27 and Bohs seventh on 24 but the task facing the Gypsies is all the more daunting as the Candystripes have hit top form under Peter Hutton, who replaced Roddy Collins as manager in May.

Hutton’s men are unbeaten in six domestic games and have scored 11 in their two most recent victories over UCD (6-1, a) and Bray Wanderers (5-0, h).

And Heary said: “Derry are a much-changed team since the side we played in Dalymount (1-1 in May). We should have won that game but Peter came in shortly afterwards and has changed everything around.

“I know him well from his time at Shelbourne and from coaching courses. I knew he’d go in and do well and they’re on a high now.

“But our confidence is high too. That’s the thing about young players, they don’t lack confidence, especially after a run of good results.”

With one eye on Monday’s EA Sports Cup semi-final against rivals Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park, Heary is relieved to have a full squad to select from tomorrow.

Steven Beattie was eventually withdrawn as a precaution after banging his head while scoring the opener against Cork City last week, but he has suffered no ill-effects. Anto Murphy (shoulder) sat out training on Monday but has played a full part in sessions since.

“It’s important that we have everyone available as we’ve two massive games over the next four days,” Heary said. “We’ve got a settled team now and everyone is enjoying it but we’ll have to rotate a little between the two games.”

Heary is also delighted to have kept hold of his most important players over the July transfer window, with 23-year-old midfielder Kevin Devaney the most recent player to sign professional terms after two years as an amateur with the club.

“Kevin’s improved a lot as a player and there was interest in him over the window,” Heary added. “We haven’t got great resources here but thankfully we’ve kept the squad intact.

“There was interest in the likes of Eoin Wearen too, but he is already under contract until the end of the season. It’s a squad game and other clubs taking notice is a testament to how well Eoin and the other young players around him have done in recent weeks and months.

“When you’re keeping someone like Dave Mulcahy out of the team, you know you’re doing something right.”

Pic by Eddie Lennon – eddielennonsportingimages.com


SSE Airtricity League Premier Division, Dalymount Park, Friday 25th July, 8pm

Bohemians boss Owen Heary is hoping his side can continue their good form following an unwanted two-week break from competitive action. With last week’s trip to Sligo postponed following the Bit O’Red’s European travels, it’s been a fortnight since the Gypsies’ excellent performance in the 1-1 draw at home to champions St Pat’s, writes KEVIN FAGAN.

Heary puts the good run of form (undefeated in five) down to a mixture of hard work and having a settled team. “It’s down a settled team alright, but its also down to the fact that everyone is working hard in training. You can see their fitness level is good, they’re starting to get into a bit of a rhythm now as well. It’s down to the players – they’re the ones working hard in training and off the pitch.”


Heary hopes the players can keep that intensity for the visit of title-chasing Cork City, who arrive in a wonderful vein of form under John Caulfield. Unfortunately, the spectre of no home wins is still lurking over the Phibsborough side. “It’s unfortunate that we haven’t got that little bit of luck at home – lots of people who watched the Pat’s game said we deserved to win, you think about the penalty against Athlone, one or two sendings off, we’ve been unlucky. But at least we’ve been picking up some points as well as getting good results away from home, and hopefully we can rectify that home form this week.”

Cork City have been a revelation in the league this season (joint top with Dundalk going into Friday’s game), but Heary isn’t surprised by the Leesiders’ fortunes. “They’re like the Cork teams of old – they’re strong, physical, they can mix it if they want. But they’ve also got some very good young players. The squad they’ve put together is excellent, I said it at the start of the season and they’ve proved it”.

Bohs were excellent on a wet night in Turners Cross in April, and Heary is looking to take the positives from that 1-1 draw into tomorrow’s fixture. “We should’ve won that game, we had three or four great chances to win it in the second half. We matched them all over the pitch, and going down to Cork and playing like that means that it shows – mentality wise – that we can go and give the bigger teams a game.”

Heary was disappointed not to be able continue on from the Pat’s game, but hopes his side can keep up the good work against Cork City this Friday. “I would have liked to have played the game (against Sligo), it would have been a good time to get them after playing in Europe,” he added. “Unfortunately it means we’ll have to play them on a Monday or a Tuesday, which will be difficult. Sligo are a full-time team, so it’s tough on our lads who have to take time off work. But we know we can mix it with the teams ahead of us, so hopefully we can push on, get a few more wins, and get a top-half finish.”

Heary may have to plan without midfielder Craig Walsh, who is doubtful after a bout of tonsillitis during the week, while former Ballymena United goalkeeper Aaron Shanahan has been brought in to provide competition for Dean Delany for the No 1 jersey.

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