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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

“WE’LL BE HOPING FOR A REACTION”

Limerick FC v Bohemians
SSE Airtricity League, Markets Field, Saturday 8 August, 6.30pm

Bohemians go south again, aiming to wipe the memory of last week’s defeat in Cork. Having gone down 4-0 to title-chasers Cork City, Bohemians face bottom-of-the-table Limerick, fresh from their first win of the season.

Manager Keith Long was deeply disappointed with Bohemians’ display in Turner’s Cross, describing it as “our worst performance this season”.

“We had a discussion among ourselves and some home truths were told, and we’ll be hoping for a reaction on Saturday,” Long said.

“We let ourselves down last Friday. When you don’t turn up and you don’t play your normal game, you’re going to be punished. We carried too many players, we didn’t play with tempo and intensity, and it was unlike us.

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“It confirmed what we knew already: individually and collectively, we have to be right on top of our game to get results.”

With a depleted squad going to Cork, Long put Jake Kelly into the line-up just over 24 hours after the 25-year-old forward completed his signing from Dundalk.

The manager knew what he could expect of his recruit, having worked with him at Bray, and entrusted him with corners and free-kicks despite Kelly not having trained with the squad.

One of Kelly’s efforts on goal, early in the second half, hit the cross-bar. “If that had gone in, the dynamic of the game changes, and we are back in it. But overall we have no complaints. We got what we deserved from the game, which was nothing,” said Long.

“Jake’s got good quality and he’ll benefit from those 80 minutes. He hasn’t played from the start too often this season. When he integrates with the group fully and gets up to match fitness, you’ll see what he can contribute.”

Twenty-eight points behind Bohemians in the league table, Limerick will battle for anything they can get from the game. “Martin [Russell] has made changes and brought in new faces and, with the win over Sligo, the mood in their camp has got to be good. We’re wary of the threat that Limerick pose,” said Long.

Bohemians began the present campaign in March with a 3-0 win at Limerick’s temporary home, Jackman Park, but two months later needed a late goal from Jason Byrne to clinch a 2-1 win over Limerick at Dalymount.

For Saturday, Anto Murphy and Paddy Kavanagh make a “welcome” return to the squad following suspension. Lorcan Fitzgerald’s recovery from hamstring injury has been slower than anticipated and he is likely to miss this game. Derek Pender, Dan Byrne and Marc Griffin are out for the longer term.

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

The Flying Doctor and the free-scoring publican: the extraordinary O’Flanagan Brothers

Along Marlborough Street, opposite the Department of Education and a 100 yards or so from the Pro-Cathedral, stands the aptly-named Confession Box pub, a small intimate venue where one could air your concerns over a pint that once belonged to former Bohemians and Ireland centre-forward Mick O’Flanagan.

The pub has its own sporting legacy quite apart from its former proprietor, it was there in 1960 that the Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland was formed, and it was there that Mick O’Flanagan received the phone call that would make him and Irish International.

It was, as O’Flanagan recalled, around two o’clock in the afternoon of 30th September 1946 when a call came to the pub from Tommy Hutchinson, the Bohemians member of the FAI selection committee which chose the Irish International team.

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Ireland were due to play England at 5:30 that afternoon, a historic meeting between the two nations as this was a first time the English national side had agreed to play an FAI selected team since the split with the IFA in 1921.

After decades of being ignored and ostracised by the English FA the FAI had finally secured a fixture against a formidable English side in Dalymount Park. In the minds of the FAI committee of 1946 this was the biggest game in its relatively short history. There was only one problem, their centre-forward, West Brom’s Davy Walsh had pulled out through injury.

This was the purpose of Hutchinson’s call to Mick O’Flanagan, the 24 year old Bohemian striker was being asked to line out against the inventors of the beautiful game at the last minute.

As O’Flanagan remembered:

“I went home to Terenure for a bite to eat, had a short rest and then headed off to Dalymount. It was not really sufficient notice as only the previous evening I had brought a party of English journalists to Templeogue tennis club and I hadn’t got home until nearly two in the morning.”

Despite a laughable lack of preparation, the Irish side put it up to their illustrious opponents who had hammered an IFA selection 7-2 just days earlier. It was only a Tom Finney winner eight minutes from time that sealed victory for the English.

Henry Rose in the Daily Express was moved to write:

“If ever a team deserved to win Eire did. They out-played, out-fought, out-tackled, out-starred generally the cream of English talent, reduced the brilliant English team of Saturday to an ordinary looking side that never got on top of the job.”

Not only did Mick O’Flanagan line out against the likes of Finney, Billy Wright, Tommy Lawton and Raich Carter, he did so alongside his older brother, and fellow Bohemian, Kevin (pictured).

Brothers Kevin and Mick O’Flanagan are unique in world sport as not only did they play international football for their country, they both were capped by Ireland at Rugby, making them the only pair of brothers in the world to play for their nation in both codes.

Mick was capped against Scotland in 1948 as part of the last Irish Grand Slam winning side until 2009, while Kevin had been capped a year previous to that against Australia. This unique achievement is one that isn’t likely to be repeated anytime soon.

Despite this singular accomplishment the sporting careers of the brothers could have been even more illustrious had it not been for the outbreak of World War 2. Both brothers were lining out for Bohemians when hostilities commenced in 1939, Mick a 17-year-old just beginning his career, his older brother Kevin at 20 had been a first-teamer for four years, had already captained Bohemians and had seven Irish caps and three goals to his name as well as being selected to play for Northern Ireland.

While the League of Ireland would continue during the war years, international football would cease for Ireland until 1946. Similarly, Olympic competition would cease which would rob Kevin the chance of competing in the Olympiads of 1940 and 1944. Kevin, at the time was a medical student in UCD, was Irish sprint champion at 60 and 100 yards as well as being national long jump champion.

He had even been a promising GAA footballer, lining out for the Dublin minor panel alongside Johnny Carey (Carey and O’Flanagan would both make their international debuts as teenagers against Norway in 1937) before being dropped because of his involvement with the “Garrison game”.

Young Michael would also miss out, his best goal scoring season would be 1940-41 where he finished as the League’s top scorer with 19 goals for Bohs. Had war not been raging across Europe he might rightly have expected to have more than his solitary international cap.

Both brothers remained committed to the amateur ethos of the club which explains the duration of their stays at Bohemians. Mick as a publican in the city centre and Kevin as a medical student and later a Doctor weren’t likely to be swayed by the offer of a couple of extra quid a week from a rival club.

Indeed Kevin took his commitment to the Corinthian ideal to the extreme, upon qualifying as a doctor in 1945 he had been offered a position as a GP in Ruislip, London. Despite this move he kept up and even increased his sporting activities, he signed on with Arsenal as an amateur while also lining out as a Rugby player for London Irish, when Arsenal invited him to submit his expense claims, they were shocked that he asked for just 4p, the cost of his tube journey from Ruislip to Arsenal.

Bernard Joy, a team-mate of Kevin’s at Arsenal, and a fellow amateur, noted in his history of the club that Arsenal secretary Bob Wall quipped that Kevin “did not want to know anything about tactics. I play football the way I feel it should be played’, he would say.”

Arsenal coach Tom Whittaker said that O’Flanagan could have been “one of the greatest players in football history” if only he could have gotten him to train properly. Despite only spending one full season with the Arsenal first team (for whom he scored three times) Kevin would make a big impression.

No lesser an authority than Brian Glanville described him thus:

“A fascinating, amateur, figure in those Arsenal teams between 1945 and 1947 was the powerfully athletic Irish outside right, the hugely popular Dr. Kevin O’Flanagan. Coming from Dublin to London to take up a general medical practice, he demonstrated pace, strength and a fearsome right foot. He attained the distinction of playing soccer for Ireland on a Saturday, rugby for them the following Sunday.”

Between them, the O’Flanagan brothers would spend almost 20 years as players for Bohemians, while their younger brother Charlie O’Flanagan, a winger, would also line out for the club in the 1946-47 season.

Kevin would return to the Dalymount in another role, that of the club’s Chief Medical Officer and despite his retirement as a player he would remain hugely busy as a sporting physician and sports administrator. He was a member of the International Olympic Committee for almost 20 years before being made an Honorary Lifetime member upon his retirement and was the Chief Medical Officer of numerous Irish Olympic teams throughout the 1960’s and 70’s.

Despite missing out as a competitor, “The Flying Doctor” would manage to make a huge contribution to the Olympics and to Irish Sport in general.
Despite their almost twenty years service in the red and black of Bohs and the almost two hundred goals scored between them the honours list for the two brothers was relatively short. Both brothers combined to help Bohs win the Inter-City Cup in 1945 in somewhat controversial circumstances.

A year later after Kevin left for London, Mick scored an astonishing six goals in Bohs 11-0 victory over local rivals Grangegorman in the Leinster Senior Cup final, a record not likely to be broken any time soon by a Bohemian player in a cup final.

So much about the brothers’ careers is unique or exceptional, so in this our 125th year it’s worth remembering two of the greatest all-round sportsmen that Ireland has ever produced.

 

Dr Kevin O'Flanagan

BUS TO LIMERICK

The Bohs bus is heading to Markets  on Saturday (August 8th) as Limerick host Bohemians at 6.30pm.

  • Departs Dalymount: 2pm sharp
  • Cost: €20
  • Email bus@bohemians.ie to book your place

 

limerick-bohs-new

GET WELL SOOM JIMMY WYLIE

You can’t keep a good man down – Jimmy Wylie was already on his feet when he got an unexpected visit from club captain (and fellow walking wounded!) Derek Pender at the Mater Hospital today.

As explained by his daughter Paula on Liveline, 88-year-old former Bohemians commissionaire Jimmy was waiting for the 46A to bring him to Dalymount ahead of last Friday’s game against Derry City when he was knocked to the ground by a man running to catch a bus.

Helped up by passers-by, a determined Jimmy made it as far as Dalymount Lane before accepting he needed some help.

Assisted by club stewards and St John’s Ambulance staff, Jimmy was brought to the Mater Hospital where it was discovered he had fractured his pelvis in the fall. He has been in good spirits recovering in the Mater since.

Keen to move on and eager get back to full fitness, Jimmy instead took aim at the league’s fixture list for causing the incident and quipped: “Why did we have two home league games in a row? We used to only play at home once every fortnight.

“That’s the way it should be. I wouldn’t have even been on O’Connell St waiting for a bus if the fixtures list was arranged the way it used to be.”

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PicMonkey Collage

JAKE KELLY SIGNS

Bohemians are delighted to announce the signing of winger Jake Kelly from Dundalk.

Kelly, 25, previously lined out for St Patrick’s Athletic in between two spells at Bray Wanderers where he worked under Keith Long.

Jake Kelly

BARS OPEN FOR CORK CITY v BOHEMIANS

Can’t make it to Cork tomorrow? Fear not! The match will be shown live in our bars at Dalymount Park from 8pm. Spread the word.

“WE HAVE TO TEST OURSELVES”

CORK CITY v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League, Turner’s Cross, Friday 31 July, 8pm

Bohemians face a “tough challenge” in Cork following two home victories in the league. The record of recent games between the two sides is strongly in Bohemians’ favour but manager Keith Long insists the form is reset when each game is started.

He regards Cork City as serious contenders for the league title, especially following a 1-1 draw last weekend against leaders Dundalk. “In my view Cork marginally shaded that game,” Long said.

“They have good players, experienced players, international players.They are a top side and it’s a tough challenge, but we have to go down there and test ourselves against them. If we’re organised and disciplined we have a chance of picking up points.”

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Despite the flurry of first-half goals and eventual 4-2 victory over Derry last weekend, Long expects more of his players.

“It was a chance to put a team to the sword, which we haven’t done. Derry were frail at the back and we exposed them ruthlessly in a 10-minute spell, but we went out of the game for long periods.

“It was a chance to improve our goal difference and we didn’t capitalise on that. But ultimately we are judged on the three points. It was a win and we can’t be too disappointed.”

Long was pleased with the success, yet again, of a Bohemians set-piece, which led to the first goal, and with how his team dealt with the loss of Ismahil Akinade at the end of the first half and later playing for 12 minutes with ten men, while Paddy Kavanagh was being treated for a facial injury.

For Friday Bohemians must prepare without Anto Murphy and Kavanagh, both suspended. Murphy completes his two-game ban for a red card, and Kavanagh misses one game for accumulated yellow cards.

Lorcan Fitzgerald (hamstring), is rated a 50/50 chance to be available. So too is Akinade (shoulder), who took a heavy fall in last week’s defeat of Derry City. Dan Byrne and Marc Griffin are out with long-term injuries.

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock

BOHS BUS TO CORK CITY

The Bohs bus is heading to Turner’s Cross on Friday (July 31st) as Cork City host Bohemians at 7.45pm.

  • Departs Dalymount: 3pm sharp
  • Cost: €20
  • Email bus@bohemians.ie to book your place
  • Deadline for bookings: 5pm, Wednesday

 

cork-bohs-away

EARLIER KICK-OFF FOR LIMERICK v BOHEMIANS

Bohemians’ game away to Limerick at Markets Field on Saturday August 8th will kick off at the earlier time of 6.30pm.

“Winning is a good habit”

BOHEMIANS v DERRY CITY
SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 24 July,7.45pm

In their second successive home game Bohemians are aiming to confirm the form shown last week. A ten-man win over Sligo Rovers, with a clean sheet, was a welcome response to losses against other teams below Bohemians in the league table.

Manager Keith Long was very pleased with the grit his team showed as they weathered a Sligo storm in the latter part of the game.

“Winning is a good habit and, equally so, losing can become a bad habit. So, it was important that we didn’t let the rot set in last week. It was a good three points, and we hope we can back it up against Derry,” said Long.

“The players really dug in and put their bodies on the line. It was our first clean sheet in seven competitive games and a return to the defensive performances that served us so well earlier in the season.” (Bohemians started the season with eight clean sheets in eight competitive games.)

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In a strong team display last Friday Roberto Lopes put in yet another exemplary performance. Just turned 23 last month, he has had leadership responsibilities thrust upon him through captain Derek Pender’s absence.

“At the start of the year I named him vice-captain because he epitomises everything that is good about Bohemian Football Club. He’s come up through the under-19s, he’s honest, he works really hard, and is an example to everyone,” said Long.

“He goes about his business in a quiet manner, he doesn’t look for plaudits. He’s a big influence in the dressing-room, maybe more in actions than in words.”

Lopes may have to play a more defensive role again on Friday, as Bohemians plan without Anto Murphy, who serves an automatic suspension for his red card last week. Fellow-defender Lorcan Fitzgerald returns from suspension but is rated a “50/50 chance” to start, with a hamstring injury.

With defenders Pender and Dan Byrne on the long-term injury list, Bohemians are especially pleased to welcome back Eoin Wearen, a midfielder who can also cover in defence.

Wearen transferred to the north-west with former Sligo manager Owen Heary but has not featured in Rovers’ most recent games. He returns to his native area of Dublin and, if the paperwork can be completed in time, could be pressed into action on Friday.

“He’s a very welcome addition, and we hope we can the best out of him. He’s got a lot of quality and he’s a good fit for Bohemians,” said Long.

Marc Griffin’s cruciate injury and Dean Kelly’s departure leave Bohemians short in the striker department but manager Long, working with a very modest player budget, continues to look for possible signings in the remaining week of the transfer window.

Bohemians manager Keith Long by Simon Alcock
Website by Simon Alcock