Latest News

All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

ACADEMY GRADUATE JAMES McMANUS SIGNS 3½-YEAR CONTRACT

Bohemians are delighted to confirm that academy graduate James McManus has signed a 3½-year deal with the club.

The midfielder, 17, played his schoolboy football with St Kevin’s Boys and has progressed through the Bohs-SKB underage League of Ireland teams right through to the Bohemians U19s and first team.

McManus has captained his country at underage level and has featured for Ireland right up to U19 level so far.

He was first included in a Bohemians first-team matchday squad in a win over Shamrock Rovers in the FAI Cup in August of last year, and made his first-team debut off the bench in a 3-0 win over UCD in April this year.

Congratulating McManus on his first professional contract, first-team manager Keith Long said: “I am very pleased that James has committed his future and long-term development to the club.

“It is important that we maintain our commitment to our best young players transitioning to the senior team and ensure that they have a platform to progress in the game.

“James is everything that you look for in a player – he is highly professional, and has a good work ethic and great attitude to go along with his talent and ability.

“At 17 years of age, he has a great future ahead of him.

“He has been not only recognised with a new contract from the club but also at underage international level right up to U19 level so far, and has captained his country as well.”

Bohemians Head of Academy Craig Sexton said: “James is an absolute joy to work with on a day-to-day basis.

“His application, quality and attitude not only make him a very good player with high potential, but a great person too.

“He is a player we would see as being a role model for future academy players.

“We are excited to see him develop over the next number of years with the club and we feel he is deserving of this commitment from the club.”

 

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BOHEMIANS SIGN JONATHAN AFOLABI

Bohemians are delighted to confirm the signing of Jonathan Afolabi from Celtic.

The striker, 22, joins having had successful loan spells in Scotland in recent seasons with Dunfermline Athletic, Dundee, Ayr United and Airdrieonians.

Manager Keith Long said:

“I would like to welcome Jonathan to the club. We felt it was important to bring another attacking option to add to what we have already in Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe and Ethon Varian.

“At 22, Jonathan has good experience in Scotland from his loan periods from Celtic in addition to representing Ireland all the way up to U21 level.

“At 6ft 2in, he is a big powerful striker who can hopefully make a big impact at the club.”

Afolabi is the ninth summer arrival to Dalymount Park following the additions of Ryan Burke (Mansfield Town), James Clarke (Drogheda United), Laurenz Dehl (Union Berlin, loan), Josh Kerr (Airdrieonians), Declan McDaid (Dundee), Jon McCracken (Norwich City, loan) John O’Sullivan (Accrington Stanley) and Ethon Varian (Stoke City).

Afolabi

Preview: Finn Harps v Bohemians

Bohemians begin their FAI Cup campaign away to Finn Harps with everyone at the club hoping they can go one better than they did last season.

Bohs went agonisingly close to lifting the trophy in the Aviva Stadium – Rory Feely inches from winning it in extra-time before losing the decider on penalties.

There has been much change since – nine of the 15 players who featured for Keith Long’s side that day have moved on since.

In this July transfer window alone, there have been eight new arrivals – three of whom are available for the matchday squad for the first time this evening.

James Clarke (Drogheda United), Laurenz Dehl (Union Berlin, loan) and Jon McCracken (Norwich City, loan) join up the squad alongside previous July additions Ryan Burke (Mansfield Town), Josh Kerr (Airdrieonians), Declan McDaid (Dundee), John O’Sullivan (Accrington Stanley) and Ethon Varian (Stoke City).

So the large travelling Bohs support in Ballybofey will have a lot of new faces to familiarise themselves with and to place their faith in to progress in the FAI Cup.

 

One of those new faces is full-back Burke, who joined from Mansfield Town having spent last season on loan with Telford.

Previously with St Patrick’s Athletic before moving to Birmingham City, the 21-year-old is looking to make his mark having made his debut as a late substitute in the 3-1 victory against UCD earlier this month.

Burke said: “I’ve settled in really well. All the boys are really good with me.

“I’ve known some of them beforehand and obviously that makes coming into the group a bit easier. But even the ones who I didn’t know have been great too.

“There is good competition in the squad now and I just want to take my opportunities to show what I do when they come.”

Harps have proved tricky opponents in recent years for Bohemians but Ollie Horgan’s side are struggling at the bottom of the league table this season and Long’s men go into the game confident of progressing.

Burke added: “We know Finn Harps’ qualities and won’t take them lightly and we have done our analysis on them.

“With no game it meant we could work on different things and it went really well. We had a tough week training – it was a really good week’s work.

“I feel we are really prepared for this game now.”

TEAM NEWS

James Talbot (shoulder) remains out but Bohemians are otherwise at full strength with Ali Coote (illness) returning.

New signings James Clarke (Drogheda United), Jon McCracken (Norwich City, loan) and Laurenz Dehl (Union Berlin, loan) come into the squad and are available for selection for the first time.

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JAMIE CLARKE JOINS FROM DROGHEDA UNITED

Bohemians can confirm the signing of James Clarke on a multi-year contract.

The midfielder, 21, joins from Drogheda United for an undisclosed fee.

Clarke joined Drogheda in 2019 from Shamrock Rovers’ U19s, and has played 21 times for Kevin Doherty’s side this season.

Welcoming Clarke to Dalymount Park, manager Keith Long said:

“James is a fantastic young player, we are really excited to work with him.

“He is a Bohs fan too, so he is delighted to come to the club. He was even a mascot before!

“He’s had great season so far, has fantastic attributes, brilliant potential and will bring a different dynamic to the team.”

Clarke is the eighth signing of this transfer window following the additions of Ryan Burke (Mansfield Town), Laurenz Dehl (Union Berlin, loan), Josh Kerr (Airdrieonians), Declan McDaid (Dundee), Jon McCracken (Norwich City, loan) John O’Sullivan (Accrington Stanley) and Ethon Varian (Stoke City).

James Clarke

Laurenz Dehl joins on loan from Union Berlin

Bohemians can confirm the signing of Laurenz Dehl on loan from Union Berlin until the end of the season.

The midfielder, 20, who can also play at right-back, joins from the Bundesliga club having spent last season on loan with Halleschen FC in the German third tier where he made 23 first-team appearances, scoring three times.

Dehl is the seventh signing of this transfer window following the additions of Ryan Burke (Mansfield Town), Josh Kerr (Airdrieonians), Declan McDaid (Dundee), Jon McCracken (Norwich City, loan) John O’Sullivan (Accrington Stanley) and Ethon Varian (Stoke City).

Dehl

PROMISE OMOCHERE JOINS FLEETWOOD TOWN

Bohemians can confirm that forward Promise Omochere has joined English League One side Fleetwood Town for an undisclosed fee.

Omochere joined the Bohemians U19s in 2018 from St Joseph’s Boys via UCD, and helped Bohs win the League of Ireland U19 league that season, and also competed in the UEFA Youth League against Midtjylland that year.

He made his first-team league debut in a 3-1 win away to St Patrick’s Athletic in September 2018 but injury saw him sidelined for much of the 2019 and 2020 campaigns.

Breaking into the first team once more towards the end of 2020, his real breakthrough came last season in the absence of Georgie Kelly before becoming a regular and fan favourite this term. In all, Omochere has scored 11 times in 54 first-team appearances.

Everyone at Dalymount Park wishes Promise every success at Fleetwood.

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

BOHEMIANS TO ADOPT NEW AFFILIATE CLUB ACADEMY MODEL

Following a review of existing youth structures and partnerships, we can confirm that Bohemians are embarking on a new affiliate club model for our academy as we seek to enhance player pathways to first-team football.

The change will see our existing exclusive partnership with St Kevin’s Boys come to an end, and we have today given St Kevin’s 12 months’ notice to that effect as per the terms of our agreement. It is our hope that the clubs will maintain and build on our relationship under the new affiliate model.

This restructure will see Bohemians re-engage with clubs across Dublin and build new relationships with others.

Head of Academy Craig Sexton said: “This is an exciting time for youth football in Ireland and at Bohemians.

“The National Underage Leagues have evolved and grown considerably, and Bohemians are committed to providing the best performing underage environment that facilitates all players to reach their full potential.

“Our exclusive partnership with St Kevin’s has served both clubs well. Working together, it provided an avenue for many talented young players to progress from the academy teams right through to the Bohemians first team and beyond.

“We have had great success stories in developing players in recent years, and that clear pathway from youth football to our first team is now a well-trodden one, and is now a very tangible and obtainable target for aspiring young footballers.

“We firmly believe that a new affiliate club model will only build upon that further, and we hope that St Kevin’s will be a part of that.

“Now is the appropriate time to hone our structures and transition from an exclusive arrangement between two clubs to a wider affiliate model that broadens our base to collaborate with clubs across Dublin and beyond to attract the best young players to our academy.”

Head of Academy Craig Sexton, Youth Director Conor Emerson and the Board of Bohemian Football Club will discuss this new model with the club membership at the upcoming AGM on July 27th.

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Bohemian Foundation facilitates football friendly between Oireachtas team and Mountjoy inmates

A group of 12 TDs and senators who make up the Oireachtas football team went inside the walls of Mountjoy Prison for a game of football against the inmates.

Organised by Aodhán Ó Ríordáin and The Bohemian Foundation, the prisoners who took part are all from the prison’s progression unit. This is where the men who are actively engaging with rehabilitation, education, and social services are housed.

The pandemic impacted the ability of Thomas Hynes and the Foundation to do their work but this match was one of the first steps in the programmes recommencing.

The match was played fairly and in high spirits and ultimately the prisoners won 9-5, but only after a comeback that saw the Oireachtas team draw level at 5-5 before wilting on the Mountjoy tarmac.

Labour TD and Bohs supporter, Aodhán Ó Ríordáin, said that there was a huge appetite among politicians from every political party to take part in the game once the idea was floated.

“It was something that I felt quite strongly about doing, we have a football team here in the Oireachtas and I’ve been determined to use it as an outreach,” Deputy Ó Ríordáin said.

“The link with Thomas Hynes and The Bohemian Foundation was perfect to organise the game, and the Mountjoy governors were hugely welcoming and enthusiastic” he added.

Bringing the outside world into the prison is an important part of how Mountjoy and The Foundation try to help the inmates. This helps to destigmatise the conversation that surrounds prisoners and the perception that some people may hold of them.

Deputy Governor of Mountjoy Prison, Donnacha Walsh, said that the match was a great event for the prison and that it helps remind the inmates that they are not forgotten.

“We always try to break down the barriers between custody and the community because we believe that it gives the guys here the best chance possible at keeping on the right track once they are released from prison,” he said

“It shows them that there are opportunities for them to continue the positive progress they make here,” he added.

Sinn Féin TD and Shamrock Rovers fan, Chris Andrews, said that the match offered great insight into the workings of the prison and the Irish Prison Service.

“It’s a huge credit to Bohemians and The Foundation for carrying this out,” Deputy Andrews said.

He added that it was important for politicians to go see and meet with the people that they are making decisions about.

“The governor indicated that he had been in touch with judges and that they had never been into Mountjoy to see what it’s like and be aware of what they were committing to people,” he said.

“So it’s important that we, as politicians, are aware of what we’re doing and the consequences of out actions and the laws that we pass, and events like this give us that insight,” he explained.

Labour Senator, Marie Sherlock, also took part in the match and she explained that this match cannot be a one-off event, it needs to be the starting point on how politicians engage with prisoners and with the Government on penal reform.

“I have huge admiration for Thomas Hynes and The Bohemian Foundation for their leadership on this issue. When a community club like Bohs says they are helping prisoners it sends out a strong message to everyone else,” Senator Sherlock said.

She thinks that community organisations do a lot of positive work in prisons around the country and that Government should engage with them to see what approaches work.

Chris Andrews thinks that the shift by Irish football clubs, led by Bohemians, to focusing on how they can help out in their own communities has been a catalyst for the growing popularity of the League of Ireland.

“Irish football is changing in front of our eyes and Bohemians have set the bar in terms of community engagement.

“It’s fantastic to see other clubs like my own, Shamrock Rovers, and the likes of St Pat’s, Sligo Rovers, Drogheda United, and many others following that lead and becoming very involved in their communities,” he said.

Oireachtas team

PREVIEW: DROGHEDA UTD v BOHEMIANS

Having bonded in Berlin, Bohemians’ new boys hope they can lift the team up the table.

Striker Ethon Varian is the latest July arrival to Dalymount Park and signed in time to travel with the squad for Saturday’s friendly away to Union Berlin.

Varian (Stoke City) is the fifth signing of this transfer window following the additions of Ryan Burke (Mansfield Town), Josh Kerr (Airdrieonians), Declan McDaid (Dundee) and John O’Sullivan (Accrington Stanley).

There have been some departures too with Dawson Devoy (MK Dons), James Finnerty (Galway United, loan) and Stephen Mallon (Cliftonville) moving on.

And the loan deals of Ryan Cassidy (Watford), JJ McKiernan (Watford) and Sam Packham (Brighton) expired, while Grant Horton (Cheltenham) was recalled.

Kerr, from the start, and Burke, McDaid and O’Sullivan as second-half substitutes, made their first-team debuts in last Thursday’s 3-1 win away to UCD, and all five new recruits got game-time in Saturday’s 2-1 defeat away to Bundesliga outfit Union Berlin.

Forward Varian started at Stadion An der Alten Försterei, and will be hoping he has an opportunity to make a difference at Head In The Game Park this evening for what is a new-look Bohs squad.

The Ireland U21 international said: “I’m delighted to have signed for Bohs. The lads have been very welcoming.

“It was a great experience playing against Union Berlin and it was great to see such a brilliant travelling support behind us.

“But our focus now is on Drogheda United. We are looking forward to it and we want to get the job done and get three points.”

The Corkman, 20, is looking to push on with Bohs this season having enjoyed a season-long loan spell with Raith Rovers from Stoke last season.

He added: “I’m really looking forward to it. I had a good experience last year going out on loan for the year and getting a lot of games in a first-team environment at Raith Rovers from Stoke City.

“Now I’m hoping to bring some experience to this team and I’m looking to kick on.

“The facilities at DCU are great and the standards at training have been very good.

“There is good competition here and when there is good competition it should improve every player as footballers and as individuals.”

TEAM NEWS

James Talbot (shoulder) remains out, while Ali Coote (illness) is a doubt.

Striker Ethon Varian comes into contention for a competitive fixture for the first time having played in a Saturday’s 2-1 friendly defeat away to Union Berlin following his arrival from Stoke City.

Dawson Devoy (MK Dons) and Grant Horton (recalled from loan by Cheltenham) have left the club.

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DAWSON DEVOY JOINS MK DONS

Bohemians can confirm that midfielder Dawson Devoy has joined English League One side MK Dons for an undisclosed fee.

The Ireland U21 international played his schoolboy football with Home Farm and St Kevin’s Boys before progressing through the Bohs-SKB League of Ireland teams and starring for the Bohemians U19s in the UEFA Youth League.

He developed at a rapid rate, and he was handed his league debut by first-team manager Keith Long three years ago this week in July 2019 as a second half substitute against UCD.

Coupled with playing with the U19s, he was afforded more first-team opportunities in the 2019 and 2020 seasons but really made his breakthrough in 2021 when he became a mainstay in midfield.

His contribution last season saw him play in all six games of Bohs’ memorable run in the Europa Conference League, which saw him win the July SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month Award and subsequently the 2021 PFAI Young Player of the Year.

The 20-year-old’s final kick in a Bohs jersey this season saw him wrap up a 3-1 victory against UCD with a late penalty last Thursday in what was his eighth league goal this season.

Everyone at Dalymount Park wishes Dawson the very best of luck with his move to MK Dons where he will join up with Warren O’Hora, another player who came through the youth system at Bohemians before starring for our first team under Keith Long.

 

UCD v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
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