Sligo Rovers v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday June 30, The Showgrounds, 7.45pm

Bohemians’ Dublin derby comeback showed character and resilience but now Declan Devine wants his side to learn from their mistakes and remain fully concentrated for 90 minutes against Sligo Rovers tomorrow.

A crazy ten-minute start to the second half against Shamrock Rovers last week saw Bohs 2-0 down and with a mountain to climb.

But Bohs didn’t give up. They dusted themselves down and stormed back to claim a point thanks to goals from Johnny Afolabi and James Clarke.

Devine said: “We need to learn that if we go a goal behind we certainly can’t go a second goal behind so we have to learn from that.

“We didn’t start the second half well which is uncharacteristic of us as that has been one of our strong points.

“I was very disappointed that we gave ourselves a mountain to climb but I am absolutely over the moon with how we responded. We suffered two huge setbacks but we went out and got a point, and probably should have won it.

“To go two goals down and then get a point against a quality side who really don’t throw away two-goal leads shows the character of this team.

“For us as a group, for our supporters, and for the whole club, it was such an important game for us not to lose.

“I was very pleased with how we turned the game around – our subs were outstanding. It was a high level performance, apart from 10 minutes where we showed a lack of concentration, which is something we need to address.

“The place was absolutely rocking – our fans on both sides, in the Jodi Stand and the Des Kelly Stand, really drove us on to get something out of the game and that is something we want to build on when we are playing at home.

“We have come from behind now on two difficult occasions, away to Dundalk and at home to Shamrock Rovers. That shows that no matter what is thrown at us that we have the character to pull ourselves back.

“We showed we have firepower throughout the team too – I was delighted for Afolabi getting such an important goal for us and James Clarke again showed the quality he has.”

Bohs have beaten the Bit O’Red twice already this season – a 1-0 win at the Showgrounds in April, and an impressive 2-0 win at Dalymount Park at the start of this month.

But Devine warned that both of those victories were hard-earned, and that he expected Sligo to come out fighting after their surprise defeat to UCD last week.

Devine added: “We have prepared all week for a very difficult game. I have been going to Sligo for 20 years and have never had an easy game there.

“Derry went there a couple of weeks ago and lost 1-0, so we have to understand that it is a difficult venue against a team that is going to be hurting on the back of last week, playing in front of their own fans who will be demanding a response.

“Sligo have a lot of talented players, so we are under no illusions that it will be a tough game. Our mindset has been good all week and we know we have to get back to winning ways.

“We have got to take care of ourselves. The two games we have played against them have been tough games. We have had to work extremely hard to win those games and that’s the level we need to be at again.

“We are going to have to expend a lot of energy and aggression, and be forceful in attack. We have a lot of talented players, so we have to look at our strengths and go there and be demanding of ourselves.”


Dean Williams (ankle) and Luke Dennison (hand) are ruled out.

Preview: Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday June 23 2023, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
Live on RTÉ2

Declan Devine has challenged Bohemians to be greedy when they host Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park in the third meeting between the sides this season.

Devine’s men were on the wrong side of defeats in both those games and that is something he and his players want to put right against the league leaders this time around.

The international break afforded his players some time off but they have knuckled down since returning last weekend and are relishing the prospect of the Dublin derby.

Devine said: “The players have put a lot in since they first came in on the 28th of December, so it was a welcome break for them on the back of leaving the Brandywell with a positive point and a positive performance. It was a good time to give them a good five days off.

“Everyone has been back in and at it since last weekend. They are fresh and really focused.

“We have had a good conversation about where we want to get to between now and the end of the season.

“As a group we are very open with one another about what we want to achieve. We want to push on from where we are. The players have really taken to how we want to go about our jobs.

“In the first half of the season, we left some points behind us but we have to push on from that.

“We are sitting in a decent position. All the teams around us have all played a game more than us. So we have to understand that we are a game behind, and we have to stay in touching distance with all those clubs who are in Europe.

“Our players are relishing that challenge. We have to take care of our own business, that’s the bottom line.

“Any player at a club the size of Bohemians should be looking at those European draws this week and making sure that we are in the hat next season and for the foreseeable future.

“That has to be the goal for the club. That’s certainly what I want to achieve now. We have to aim for that at the very least.

“We have to give everything in every game now and see where that takes us. We have to clock up as many points as we possibly can. We want to be greedy now. We want more and we have to get more.

“We want to push this group as hard as we can and push each other as hard as we can.”

They will need to push each other to the very limit to beat the defending champions but Devine says his side are set up to win.

He said: “Rovers is always a huge game. Rovers are the only team in the country we haven’t taken points from so far. That is something we want to rectify.

“The two performances against Rovers so far – first half in Dalymount we were outstanding, second half not so good, but the performance in Tallaght was at a very high level and we really should have got something out of that game.

“But all of that is in the past and we have to go about our jobs in a professional way, get something from the game and try and win the match. We will be setting up to do that.

“Some of our performances this season have been at a very high level. We went to Tallaght and took them on, but ultimately we came away with nothing.

“That’s something that we have to rectify. It’s the second half of the season now and we have to accumulate as many points as we possibly can.

“No matter who comes to Dalymount, we want to set up in a manner that we will be the team in the ascendency. We want to put on a performance for our own fans.

“It being Rovers adds an extra spice to it but in terms of our mindset, we just want to go and win every game and send our fans home happy.”

Bohs come into this game on the back of a behind-closed-game friendly at Dalymount Park with TNS on Monday, which finished 4-4.

Highly-rated U19 prospect Nickson Okosun helped himself to a hat-trick, while Drew Baker scored Bohs’ other goal.

Devine added: “TNS are in Europe so they are at a decent level. We played mostly our U19s and U17s in the second half so it was a good test for them too, it was a really good workout.

“We got the players who haven’t had a lot of minutes up to speed. Nickson came in and scored a hat-trick – he is a talented young lad who is on the periphery of the squad and he will be in the squad against Rovers. Hopefully he can have an influence over the course of the season.”


Dean Williams (ankle) remains out while Jay Benn’s loan has ended and he has returned to Lincoln City.

Preview: Bohemians v Cork City

SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division
Saturday June 10 2023
Dalymount Park, 3pm

Lynn Craven hopes Bohemians can continue to inspire young girls – because those same girls continue to inspire her.

A primary school teacher, in her first season with Bohs having joined from DLR Waves, Craven is grateful for the vocal support she and her team-mates have received this term.

That support has helped spur them on to a six-game unbeaten run and drew in a crowd of 1256 – a new record for the SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division – when Bohs shared the spoils following a 0-0 draw with Shamrock Rovers at Dalymount Park last week.

Now Craven, who teaches in the very same school she attended in her hometown of Dundalk, is hoping for more of the same when Cork City provide the opposition this afternoon.

Craven said: “We’re really showing people now what we are capable of. We are six games unbeaten now since losing to Rovers in April, and I think that defeat gave us the kick that maybe we needed. Ever since then, we’ve been on form.

“Even getting the 0-0 draw last week just shows how much we’ve come on in that six-week period. We felt unfortunate enough not to score but we’re keeping really solid at the back and keeping clean sheets, which is massive for us.

“What we need to work on now is just being a little bit more clinical in the final third, but look, hopefully that will come soon. We’re happy with our progress.”

Their recent run of form has been built on a strong backline, with goalkeeper Rachael Kelly earning deserved plaudits.

Craven said: “With Rachael, we always say that it’s like having an outfield player behind you. She’s so good with her feet, her distribution is amazing, and like she’s an unbelievable shot-stopper.

“She’s clearly one of the best keepers in the country, so to have her behind you, it gives us confidence as a backline that although we know we have our jobs to do and that we need to keep solid but we know if something does go by us, we’re confident that Rachael has us covered.

“It’s kind of a new back four for the team this year – obviously I’ve only come in this season. It took us a little bit of time to gel together. But we work really hard in training and we go into each game saying ‘look, we’re not conceding today’ and I think that’s working a lot.

“We’re defending really well and starting defending right from the front. When we don’t have the ball, we are all defenders and it’s working well. We’re happy that we’re a team that it’s hard to beat.”

Despite Bohs’ run of form and Cork City being propping up the league table, Craven is taking nothing for granted.

She said: “We won the first game of the season against Treaty and people were highlighting that we only won 1-0 but we knew right from that game that they’re going to take points off teams and they’ve shown that there is no game you can go into thinking it’s going to be an easy win.

“We play Cork now and obviously they are below us in the league, but I think the position they’re in doesn’t reflect who they are at all. They’re a good team.

“We have to go in every week knowing that we have to give absolutely everything – defend for our lives and be clinical up front.

“That’s the beauty of the league, and why so many people are enjoying it this year – every game you go to, you don’t know what the score is going to be but you know that you’re in for a good match.”

But what is really driving Craven now is the support she and her team-mates are getting from the stands.

The former Shelbourne and Wexford Youths player has witnessed first hand the rapidly growing interest in women’s football in recent years – a far cry from when she began her League of Ireland career.

She added: “The crowd last week was amazing. It really pushed us on. I can’t express how much we appreciate the crowds that have been coming, so hopefully we can keep breaking attendance records.

“I’ve been in the league a few years now – there were games when I started out where you would have only had 20 or 30 people at a match.

“Honestly, the difference that a crowd makes is amazing. They really push you on so much more and when you know that they’re giving their Saturday afternoon up to come and watch you, it really does lift you to do better yourself.

“When we play in Dalymount, we can really hear the fans behind us so with that base, and the Women’s World Cup coming up, I feel it’s only going to get better and stronger.

“There’s a huge fan base going across to Australia for that, and I think the Ireland team can be a real inspiration, and for the second half of the season, we are going to see even bigger crowds.

“It’s been a weird feeling to be honest because you kind of see yourself just going out to play your own game of football, you don’t really think that there’s girls actually looking up to you. But we spend almost an hour after games, no matter what the result, giving time to the girls at the games because they give their time to us.

“And you really do hear them when we are out on the pitch. It’s amazing and it’s something that I only wished I had when I was younger – to look up to girls and to be able to go to women’s games.

“But it wasn’t a thing then. So for young girls to see – we had a lot of Bohs underage girls teams there last week – that there is a pathway for them and to think ‘I want to be playing here in a few years’ time’ is just brilliant.

“It’s only gonna motivate them to think ‘I want to be like that some day’ – and with the talent Bohs have coming through at underage level, it won’t be long until many of them are playing with us.”

  • Admission to all Bohemians home SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games is included in all club memberships, season tickets and Junior Gypsies
  • Match tickets can be purchased from
  • Drinks purchased in our bars at SSE Airtricity Women’s Premier Division games can be brought out to the Jodi Stand in plastic glasses
  • We encourage all attending the game to stick around for the inaugural Pride of Dalymount Cup, which kicks off at 6pm


SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday June 9 2023
Ryan McBride Stadium, 7.45pm

Declan Devine hopes Bohemians have learned an important lesson from the manner of Monday’s defeat against Cork City and predicted an entertaining game between two teams with something to prove when his side face Derry City tomorrow.

Bohs fans in Turner’s Cross were still celebrating Adam McDonnell’s late equaliser when, seconds later, Cork City marched up the pitch straight from the restart and notched the winner through Daniel Krezic.

It was a bitter pill to swallow and Devine admitted: “It was a lesson not just for me, but for the whole group.

”I think we all understand that it wasn’t acceptable to concede seconds after we scored a goal. It is something that I would like to imagine will never happen again. It’s something that can never happen again.

“We have got to learn that it was crazy – absolutely insane – to let that happen. But I will say this about this group again – that I believe they are giving everything and I believe that they will learn from it.

“We can’t do anything else about it now but learn from it. We certainly don’t want that to ever happen again.

“It is a lesson as to how cruel the game can be. If you’re not switched on for every second of every game, then you get punished and that’s that’s what happened. We were absolutely punished.

“Cork had two shots on target and they score two goals. That’s how this league goes. You’ve got to make sure that you are fully concentrated in your set-up, and that your defensive set-up is right for the whole game.

“But it was a bitter call to swallow and we have got to understand that, yes, we did well to get back into the game in the first instance but to then lose it in the way we did is just not acceptable.”

Devine was also disappointed that his side failed to match the really impressive performance levels seen in Friday’s 2-0 win over Sligo Rovers.

He said: “We never got to the intensity levels we had on Friday and we were also playing against a team that has had a brilliant record over recent games.

“They were a team playing with a lot of confidence but we have got to stamp our authority more on games. By half-time, we were reasonably comfortable but without being very creative.

“We have got to be much better than what we were down in Cork and show what we are capable of.

“Points are key now – it’s all about points. It’s about making sure that we don’t leave any more points behind us in the second half of the season.

“There are going to be games where it’s just not going our way. But we’ve got to be able to show resilience and ability to get things from games. That’s something that as a group we have got to learn fast.”

Tomorrow they face a Derry side who they have already beaten in the Brandywell this season but have lost to in Dalymount.

The Candystripes come into the game on the back of a bruising 4-1 defeat away to St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday.

Devine said: ”Every game in this league, it doesn’t matter if you’re playing at home or away, is going to be a tough game.

”We went down 10 men against Derry when we played them in Dalymount which didn’t make for a level playing field as such because 14 minutes into the game we found ourselves a man down and then a goal down.

”But our response after that in that game was very good. Now we want to go to Derry and take it to another level.

”Derry will be coming into this game hurting as well after Monday. They’ll be expecting a performance and we’re going up there expecting a performance as well.

”I think you’ll find two teams trying to go and win the game. I don’t think it’s going to be like certain games that we’ve seen recently where teams are sitting back and holding out for a clean sheet.

”We will go there trying to win the game trying to win the game so it has the makings of two good teams going at it. We are concentrating ourselves, we will have a few bodies back, and we go up there with a strong squad.

”Dylan Connolly will be back and I’m hoping Johnny Afolabi will be involved too. Not having those two in the attacking third of the pitch is something that we’ve been missing over recent weeks.

”Having those two back on the panel will be massive for us. James Akintunde has come through the last couple of games after his lay-off which will stand him in good stead too so, slowly but surely, we’re delighted that we’re getting a couple of bodies back.”

With just two games remaining this month and the transfer window opening on July 1st, Devine says he will be looking to strengthen in certain areas next month.

He added: ”We wouldn’t be doing our jobs right if we weren’t looking at this moment in time to strengthen the squad.

”There’s a lot of work going on behind the scenes and recruitment is key in terms of bringing the right people to the club.

”It’s key that any person coming in fits into the group. We have a really honest and tight group so it’s hugely important that we bring the right personalities in and it’s also important that we strengthen in certain individual areas.

”Myself, the backroom team, Pat Fenlon, and everyone involved behind the scenes, are working hard to single out targets who we want to bring to the club and then go and have those discussions to see if it’s feasible or not.

”So, there’s a lot of work going on. This month tends to go quickly with midseason break and the window opens July 1st and we’ll certainly be looking to strengthen a couple of positions.”


Dylan Connolly (hip) and Johnny Afolabi (ankle) come back into contention but Dean Williams (ankle) remains out.

Preview: Cork City v Bohemians

SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Monday June 5 2023
Turner’s Cross, 5pm
Match tickets can be purchased here

Declan Devine said Bohemians did not have time to celebrate Friday’s win against Sligo Rovers as focus immediately turned to another tough game away to Cork City at Turner’s Cross.

After a frustrating four-game run without a win – defeats against Shamrock Rovers and Derry City, and draws against Dundalk and Shelbourne – Bohs got back to winning ways in style against the Bit O’Red at Dalymount.

Goals from James Clarke and Declan McDaid were enough to secure all three points in what was a dominant display by the home side, which sees them three points off the top of table with a game in hand.

Devine said: “I was delighted with the performance and delighted with the intensity of our game. It was a really positive performance. I think we’ve been playing a lot like that in games previously but without the cutting edge that we saw on Friday.

“If anything, I was slightly disappointed that we didn’t add more goals. We’ve had two great chances from headers. We’ve entered into the final third on many occasions and, again, we were just missing that final shot or final ball in at times.

“But I am absolutely delighted with the application of the players. We asked them to be right at it from the start. That was something we knew we had to improve on, and we certainly did that. I think we scared our opponents early on.

“I knew that it was gonna be a tough night if we didn’t start right. Sligo are a good side who play a really good brand of football and it was just important for us to put on a display for our fans and for ourselves, and just to get back on that horse of winning games.”

James Akintunde showed once more what a loss he was during his nine-game lay-off with a hamstring injury.

He gave supporters a taste of what they were missing during his cameo appearance off the bench the previous week against Shels, but really stamped his authority against Sligo when he started up front in the absence of Johnny Afolabi and Dean Williams.

Having dropped back, it was Akintunde’s stunning cross-field ball, having cut inside his marker, to Kris Twardek that eventually set up Clarke for Bohs’ opener.

Devine said: “James Akintunde is a special person and a special player. He plays in two or three different positions and, wherever he plays, he’s a brilliant team-mate and a brilliant player to coach.

“He’s very strong and he’s very team-oriented. He puts his body on the line for others around him. Not only can he be a cutting edge but he’s also very creative, in terms of how he plays, but his general play and his ability to lift the group and hurt opposition has certainly been missed.

“Again, we had to take him off after 60 minutes – we couldn’t take a risk.

“But he is a player that I was absolutely delighted to bring to the club and hopefully people can see why. I think he can be part of the furniture of this club for a very long time and somebody that the fans can really hold in high esteem.”

And Devine was similarly pleased to see Clarke on the scoresheet, and praised the 22-year-old for responding in the right way to the disappointment of not playing as regularly so far this season as he might have hoped for.

Devine said: “James has come in and he’s done really well. We have to understand the competition for the midfield places we have here. You can only pick three or four at any given time.

“But, by God, he took to it on Friday and he certainly deserved his goal.

“I love him, I think he’s such a class lad and you know what, he’s taken his disappointment at not starting and channeled that in the right way. He came in on Friday and has certainly given everybody something to think about.”

So too has supersub McDaid, who, with Williams ruled out and Afolabi carrying a knock, played in an unfamiliar role leading the line when he replaced Akintunde on the hour-mark.

He looked at ease in the position though and, much to the delight of his family who traveled over from Scotland for the game, got on the scoresheet once more to put the victory beyond doubt.

Devine said: “I said to him before the game, ‘your family’s come over and are in the stand – make sure you go and get a goal!’

“And he deserves it so much because he has worked so hard. Again, we have so much competition for places but he is a player who gives everything he’s got in training and gives everything he’s got when he comes into the team.

“It’s very much a team game. I’m delighted that we have the opportunity to bring players off the bench in many different positions. I’m delighted for John O’Sullivan coming on for a cameo role as well because everybody’s working so hard.”

Neither Devine or his players had time to dwell on Friday’s win though – they were straight back in over the weekend to do their homework ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday trip to Turner’s Cross to face Cork City.

Bohs kicked off their 2023 league campaign with a 2-1 victory on Leeside and followed it up with a 5-0 win when the sides met at Dalymount Park in April. But Devine conceded that Cork being reduced to 10 men after 30 minutes when the sides were level contributed to the eventual lopsided scoreline.

City have rallied in recent weeks too – enjoying victory at home to Shamrock Rovers last week and away to Drogheda United on Friday.

Devine added: “It’s all about dusting down and making sure you don’t go overboard on celebrations because we have a huge game now in Turner’s Cross.

“Cork have certainly stepped up a little gears over the last couple of weeks. They gave us a tough game down there, and when we played them in Dalymount, up until the sending-off, there wasn’t much in the game.

“If you go to Cork with any other mindset than knowing it will be difficult to win in Turner’s Cross, then you are in for a long night.

“We know we have to be absolutely at our best. We have to be ruthless in our approach, and we have to give a real high level of performance to come away from Turner’s Cross with a result.’’


James McManus returns from suspension, but Dean Williams (ankle) and Dylan Connolly (ribs) remain out, while Johnny Afolabi (ankle) remains a doubt.

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