“WALKING INTO DALYMOUNT, YOU GET THAT SPECIAL FEELING”

After a bittersweet first taste of Premier Division football last year, new recruit Jack Memery is hungry to prove himself and is relishing the prospect of calling Dalymount ‘home’ this season, writes CILLIAN SHIELDS.

Left-back Memery watched on from the sidelines as his Shelbourne team-mates suffered relegation in 2013, but he feels he is ready to establish himself in the top tier and is confident that with Owen Heary’s fresh blend of youth and experience, Bohemians can their sights a lot higher this season.

Memery, 20, said: “After seeing the lads Owen has signed and having trained with the team for a few weeks now, I think it’s going to be a very big year for Bohs.

“Owen’s retained most of the squad from last year and added in a few more experienced players with a lot of quality. I think we’ll be out of the relegation fight for starters and I think we’ll be able to push on and do very well.”

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CHEERS AND TEARS IN JAYO’S TWILIGHT YEARS

Jason Byrne hopes he will be in tears again when the time comes for him to leave Bohemians for a second time, writes FRANKIE LALLY.

Byrne began his first spell with the Gypsies in 2008 and picked up back-to-back league titles as well as winning the FAI Cup, EA Sports Cup and Setanta Sports Cup in his three seasons with the club.

He played – and scored – in his final game for the Gypsies in a 3-1 win over Dundalk at Dalymount Park in October 2010 and was visibly emotional as he walked off the pitch at the final whistle.

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BOHING THE DISTANCE

Bohemians go into a new year with a new team working on the club’s longer-term development, writes BRIAN TRENCH.

Former directors Daniel Lambert and Chris Brien aim to develop key relationships in business and in the community, while also drafting a strategic plan that will be proposed for adoption later this year.

“The directors have until very recently had to put almost all of their effort into the club’s survival, week-to-week, even day-to-day. We have not been able to address medium-term and longer-term strategy.

“Now that the club’s financial position has been stabilised, we can get on with that task,” said Lambert.

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BRIEN’S BALTIMORE BREAK

As part of our ongoing link-up with Baltimore Bohemians, former Bohemian FC president Chris Brien travelled Stateside earlier this month as a representative of the club and attended the Maryland Irish Festival alongside our Baltimore Bohs partners.

Baltimore Bohs were founded in 2011 by the Angelos family, owners of Major League Baseball’s Baltimore Orioles, and the Tirabassi family. The club’s crest features a tribute to our own famous black and red stripes.

This year, Baltimore Bohs this season secured their highest league position of to date. They enjoyed an improvement on their sixth-place finish in 2012 in the Mid-Atlantic Division of the US Premier Development League to come second to Ocean City Nor-Easters (New Jersey) as the division’s highest scorers with 42 goals in 14 games. They were subsequently defeated 3-1 by Reading United (Pennsylvania) in the league play-offs.

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Brien said: “As supporters will already be well aware of, the club formed a partnership with Baltimore Bohemians in July. The partnership covers a number of areas, including commercial opportunities.

“In early November, I was invited by Baltimore Bohemians to join them at the Maryland Irish Festival and was obviously only too delighted to accept their invitation. The Baltimore Bohs were kind enough to cover all my travel expenses.

“The Baltimore Bohs had a stall at the festival and we showcased some of our own Gypsies gear on the stall alongside Baltimore Bohs merchandise in what was a very worthwhile exercise in increasing both clubs’ profiles and creating awareness about the clubs’ ongoing partnership.

“Baltimore Bohemians only came into existence in 2011, so they have a big job ahead of them in trying to attract fans, particularly as they are competing with the Baltimore Orioles baseball team and the Baltimore Ravens American football team.”

Chris was delighted to finally be able to put faces to the names of people with whom he had shared regular correspondence in recent months.

He said: “As well as the enjoyment of the festival itself, it was a great opportunity to meet with the people I had been in contact through email over the previous four months. I met with Joe and James Tirabassi, who own the Baltimore Bohs along with their business partner Louis Angelos. Unfortunately Louis was unavailable during the weekend.

“I also met Judge Phil Tirabassi – Joe and Jim’s dad – who was my host for the weekend together with Brian McMearty, a huge fan and stalwart of the club. We spoke about our plans and hopes for the future, and the sharing of ideas was extremely beneficial to both parties.

“It was a short visit – I flew out of Shannon on Friday November 8th and returned on Sunday the 10th – but it was certainly worth it.

“It is one of the aims of the partnership to provide exposure for one another in our respective countries. It is for this reason that the trip was organised and hopefully we will see the benefits of our relationship grow over the coming years.

“My thanks again to the Tirabassi family and Brian McMearty for making me feel so welcome and for sharing their ideas with me.”

Show your support for our American friends by following @BaltimoreBohs on Twitter and liking Baltimore Bohemians on Facebook.

Picture shows  it’s Joe Tirabassi, Chris Brien, Phil Tirabassi and Jim Tirabassi

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Harold Sloan: A Forgotten Ranger

We are pleased to able to bring to you ‘Harold Sloan: A Forgotten Ranger’, a paper written by CIARAN PRIESTLEY on Harold Sloan, the first-ever goalscorer at Dalymount Park, a member of the famous 1908 IFA Cup-winning team and one of the club’s first true legends, who died fighting in the First World War at Combles, near the Somme in January 1917.

Ciarán Priestley has previous contributed historical features to the Bohemian website and is a keen historian. His published works include ‘Clonsilla and the 1798 Rebellion‘ and ‘The Bohemian Football Club: The Enduring Legacy of an Idle Youth’ . We would like to thank Ciarán for allowing us to reproduce and share his latest paper with a wider audience.

READ “Harold Sloan: A Forgotten Ranger”

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Website by Simon Alcock