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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

“What we have is togetherness and trust from Keith”

BOHEMIANS v FINN HARPS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday May 31, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

“If you’re good enough, you’re old enough” is a well-worn phrase in sport. It’s all well and good saying it, but actions speak louder than words.

At Bohemians, it reflects a commitment from the top that drives players coming through across at all age groups at underage level.

On Monday, another Bohs-SKB academy graduate, Ross Tierney, seized the opportunity afforded to him in the EA Sports Cup.

Fellow Bohs U19 Dawson Devoy tasted first-team football as a substitute for the final 25 minutes, while Alex Kelly made the bench.

Starting his Leaving Cert next Wednesday, Tierney’s teachers at St Aidan’s CBS in Whitehall might not have been best pleased by the distraction.

But for Tierney, it was a moment to savour and a reward for his ability and for years of hard work at underage level with St Kevin’s and Bohemians.

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Ross Tierney gives Dan Casey the runaround – Stephen Burke

It was his first start for the seniors, his only previous first-team minutes coming as a substitute in the Leinster Senior Cup win against First Division Shelbourne earlier this year.

But the diminutive teen put it up to a physical Cork City side.

His opener set Bohs on their way to a 2-0 victory – fellow ex-Kevin’s man Danny Mandroiu added the second from the spot – and settled what could have been a period of nervy uncertainty after the home side spurned a golden opportunity to take the lead from the penalty spot moments earlier.

Tierney, 18, said: “I was actually preparing for the U19s’ game in Longford on Sunday at the weekend but Craig Sexton, the U19s manager, rang me saying that I would be in the first team squad on Monday instead.

“I trained with the first team expecting just to be in the squad but Keith Long pulled me aside and said “You know why you’re here?” and then told me that I’d be starting. It was a bit of a surprise.

“I was delighted to get the chance to show what I can do. I don’t think I started as well as I would have liked but the intensity was always going to be higher from what I’m used to and I knew that. Keith says it will take time to adjust to that.”

He is perhaps overly self-critical. While there was a rawness to his game, he settled quickly considering and his goal contributed hugely to Bohs progressing to the last four where they will meet Dundalk away on the August Bank Holiday Monday.

Tierney in full flight – Stephen Burke

One man in attendance who missed Tierney’s goal, however, was Ross’ brother Dean.

The bars at Dalymount Park are one of its selling points in attracting fans. But their draw has seen many a supporter miss kick-off or goals either side of half-time as patrons finish up their drinks or go to the bar early to beat the queues.

Dean had no such excuse – his brother’s goal game on 33 minutes! Ross laughed: “We had just had a penalty saved, so he went in to get a pint. It took longer than he expected, they had to change the keg or something.

“The next thing he hears over the PA that No 26 Ross Tierney had scored and he said he just went “Ah Jaysus!”

Tierney’s progression comes as no surprise to those who have worked with him. The Ballymun man’s association with Bohs’ partners St Kevin’s began a decade ago and he has represented Ireland internationally up to U18 level.

He said: “I came to St Kevin’s when I was eight. I was with them from U9s up to U14s. I won five leagues and two All-Irelands. I left for a year and went to Belvo U14s and won and All-Ireland there but then have been at Bohs-SKB for U15s and U17s and on to the U19s.”

Then.. Tierney and Mandroiu at St Kevin’s in 2014

He echoes the growing sentiments that the transition from schoolboy football to men’s football has improved with the evolving League of Ireland pathway structure.

The likes of Warren O’Hora, Daniel Grant, Andy Lyons, Paddy Kirk, Ali Reghba and Ryan Graydon, all of whom came through Bohs’ U19s, are perfect examples of first-team success stories so far.

Tierney said: “The continuity helps. You get to know what is expected of you and you get to know people. You look at the team on Monday and there were nine ex-Kevin’s and then you had Andy and Paddy too who came through Bohs U17s and U19s.

“We’ve one of the youngest teams in the league but Keith Long always says that it doesn’t matter what age or height you are: if you’re good enough, you’re old enough.

“It drives you on when you see players not all that much older than you playing regularly for the first team. I think Bohs have become the best club in the country for bringing players through.

“We are all one big club from first team down to U13s. We all want each other to do well. We don’t have money like other clubs but what we have that is more important is togetherness and trust from Keith.”

As well looking to progress with the first team, Tierney is hoping he will get another chance to represent Bohs in Europe later this year. Much like last season, Sexton’s U19s face another nervy wait to see if they will quality for the Uefa Youth League.

It is a complex qualification process and, due to Ireland’s low seeding, Bohs will once again be relying on results and games out of their control to nab a spot in the competition.

Bohs lost out narrowly 4-2 on aggregate to Danes FC Midtjylland last year, but were up against a side with designs on winning the competition and who subsequently knocked out giants Roma and Manchester United before bowing out against Porto.

Due to Uefa’s rigid eligibility rules, Sexton’s team was depleted. Tierney was one of those to benefit and was promoted from Jimmy Mowlds’ Bohs-SKB U17s for the tie.

Tierney added: “Off the pitch they had amazing facilities and their players were in a full-time set-up. But on the pitch the difference wasn’t huge.

“If we had all our players available, you never know, we could have beaten them. I’m hoping we get another chance in the tournament this year as it was an amazing experience.”

Now… Tierney and Mandroiu both netted for Bohs on Monday

Tierney deserves that – he has had his set-backs too. He said: “Growing up I never shied away from tackles – I tore my MCL as a result! But sometimes it’s more dangerous to pull out when you’ve committed.

“It was in my last game for St Kevin’s at U15s. I missed the guts of half a season for the Bohs-SKB U17s but the manager Jimmy Mowlds always had confidence in me and gave me a chance when I got back fit.”

That no-fear side to his game was evident on Monday too. Tierney is small in stature, but didn’t shy away from a full-blooded challenge against the towering and imposing former Bohs man Dan Casey, although he came off worse with stud marks on his leg visible from the stand.

He said: “I saw the ball between me and Dan. I committed and I think if I’d pulled out I’d have ended up lying in the Jodi Stand!

“Robbie Murray, the physio, thought I’d need two stitches but I didn’t want to come off! He put vaseline on it instead and I played on.”

Whether he has done enough to keep his place in the squad for the visit of Finn Harps to Dalymount remains to be seen. But if not, it is only a matter of time before we see him lining out for the first team once more.

For now, Tierney is enjoying being part of the collective, adding: “Bohs have surprised a few people.

“Obviously we have had a few disappointing results lately in the league, losing to late goals. But at the start of the season, you’d have been delighted to have been third at this point and hopefully the lads can build on that.”

To do that, Bohs will need to end a run of five games without a win.

That will be easier said than done, with manager Long adding: “Harps have been on a good run of form and our previous games this season have been very close affairs and tonight we expect nothing different.

“Our performances in my view deserved more from recent games and the players are putting in a huge amount of effort and are playing well. Performances have been good and the bigger picture for us is that we currently sit in third place in the table going into the third phase of games.

” We have a young team who are developing very well. We know we can be better and we know what’s required to get more from games. We may not win every game but we understand what we need to do in order to try and win.”

TEAM NEWS

Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Dinny Corcoran (ankle), Danny Grant (hamstring), Robbie McCourt (ankle) and Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) are all out.

Keith Buckley (leg) is rated 50-50.

Conor Levingston returns from suspension but skipper Derek Pender remains suspended.

Darragh Leahy is away on international duty with the Ireland U21s.

James Talbot is also on international duty with the Ireland senior team but will be released to play against Finn Harps.

Bohemians v Cork City - EA Sports Cup Quarter-Final

JAMES TALBOT REFLECTS ON IRELAND CALL-UP

Fresh from being called up by Mick McCarthy, Bohemians keeper James Talbot spoke to Neil O’Riordan of the Irish Sun and the Evening Herald’s Aidan Fitzmaurice after the EA Sports Cup win against Cork City on Monday night ahead of meeting up with the Ireland squad for the first time yesterday.

Talbot will be released from the international squad for Friday’s league game against Finn Harps at Dalymount Park.

Links to both articles below.

Evening Herald: When Mick rang, my stomach turned!

Irish Sun: Talbot didn’t believe Ireland call-up when ‘messer’ Keith Long told him

Bohemians v Cork City - EA Sports Cup Quarter-Final

LOI UNDERAGE RESULTS/FIXTURES ROUND-UP

WEEKEND RESULTS (MAY 25/26)

There were four wins and one defeat for our five underage League of Ireland teams at the weekend.

  • U19s: Longford Town 0 Bohemians 2 (D Devoy, J Moylan)
  • U17s: Bohs-SKB 6 (A Doran 4, P Moore, T Considine) Longford Town 0 (Photo gallery by Stephen Burke)
  • U17W: Bohemians 4 (C Darby 2, M Keating 2) Greystones 0 (Photo gallery by Stephen Burke)
  • U15s: Dundalk 3 Bohs-SKB 2
  • U13s: Bohs-SKB 5 (N Okosun 2, S Fagan, M Tarzan, M Cherico) Dundalk 0

THIS WEEKEND’S FIXTURES (JUNE 1/2)

  • Bohemians U19s: No fixture (mid-season break)
  • Bohs-SKB U17s: No fixture (mid-season break)
  • Bohemians U17W: Limerick (Saturday, UL, 2pm)
  • Bohs-SKB U15s: St Patrick’s Athletic (Sunday, Shanowen Rd, 12pm)
  • Bohs-SKB U13s: St Patrick’s Athletic (Saturday, Crumlin Utd All-Weather, 3pm)
Bohs-SKB U17s in action against Longford - Stephen Burke

EA SPORTS CUP QUARTER-FINAL: TEAM NEWS AND TICKET INFORMATION

BOHEMIANS v CORK CITY
EA Sports Cup quarter-final
Monday May 27 2019, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm 

There is a place in the last four of the EA Sports Cup up for grabs when we host Cork City at Dalymount Park tonight.

Bohemians are down to the bare bones due to a combination of injuries, suspensions and ineligibility.

But manager Keith Long is hoping those afforded the opportunity to play will once again stand up and be counted as they have done in previous such circumstances this season.

He said: “There is no let-up in games. We just have to dust ourselves down. We’re two games away from a cup final so this is a game we all want to win.

“Obviously our team selection in a lot of areas will be dictated by who we have available given the number of players out at the moment.

“We’ll see how we go in terms of bodies as we have a number of injuries but we have talented players at the club who want to show they can make that step up to first-team football so now is a chance for them to do that again and we hope our supporters can get behind them once more.”

READ MORE

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians will be without striker Dinny Corcoran, who was carried off on a stretcher during Friday’s 2-1 defeat to Sligo Rovers at Dalymount Park.

X-rays yesterday confirmed that Corcoran fractured a bone in his foot and faces an undetermined but lengthy spell on the sidelines.

Bohs are also without Danny Grant (hamstring), Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Keith Buckley (leg), Cristian Magerusan (cruciate), Aaron Barry (unable to play against parent club) and the suspended duo of skipper Derek Pender and Conor Levingston.

TICKET INFORMATION

  • Please note season tickets and Junior Gypsies do not apply for cup games
  • Members can pay reduced admission of €10 at members stile on production of membership card
  • Guestlist suspended for cup games
  • Tickets available at turnstiles or from tickets.bohemians.ie 
Keith Ward celebrates the goal of Conor Levingston 24/5/2019

JAMES TALBOT CALLED UP BY IRELAND

Congratulations to Bohemians No 1 James Talbot who has been called up by Ireland manager Mick McCarthy for the upcoming European qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar.

Talbot will check into Ireland camp on Tuesday, May 28 when the squad returns to Dublin and will be part of the match-day squads for the games against Denmark (June 7) and Gibraltar (June 10).

But he will be released for Bohs’ game against Finn Harps on Friday May 31.

McCarthy said: “We’ve brought in James Talbot due to his recent form with Bohemians.

“Our goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly had been keeping an eye on the lad and he has done very well.

“We are happy to release him to play for his club. I’ve spoken to Keith Long and he’s been very supportive. And he’s delighted for James.

“We understand it’s an important time for Bohemians but equally this is a great opportunity for James to come in with us.”

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

“We are young. We have – and will continue to – make mistakes”

BOHEMIANS v SLIGO ROVERS
SSE Airtricity League
Friday May 24 2019, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm

Keith Long has not been afraid to give young players a chance this season but hopes they learn quickly to rediscover the early-season form that has eluded them somewhat in recent weeks.

Of the starting XI on Monday against Dundalk, only captain on the night Aaron Barry, 26, keeper James Talbot, 22, and striker Ryan Swan, 23, were over the age of 21.

The remaining eight starters were aged between 18 and 21 with substitutes Ryan Graydon, Ali Reghba and Scott Allardice aged 19, 19 and 21 respectively.

Bohs’ young guns earned plaudits for how quickly they adapted this season to the demands of League of Ireland football.

The positive start to the season was built on a sturdy defence, with James Talbot keeping 11 clean sheets so far. But disappointingly Bohs have now conceded in each of their last four games, albeit against some of the league’s top sides.

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Talbot’s form in April earned him the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month Award but he himself would admit that those in front of him in defence had also contributed hugely to his clean sheet tally. He will need that support again if Bohs are to get back to winning ways.

That said, with 18 games of the 36 now played, nobody predicted the Gypsies would still be occupying third place at the halfway point of the season. They have slipped to nine points off pacesetters Shamrock Rovers and Dundalk, but remain four points ahead of Derry City who occupy fourth spot.

But to maintain or improve on their position in third place, Long believes his side need to develop a ‘cuteness’ that complements their undoubted talent and youthful enthusiasm.

His side have lost five league games this season. You could argue that there is no great shame in that – all five defeats have come against last season’s first and second-placed teams.

But Long wants better than that, acknowledging that the manner of the most recent defeat has highlighted the sometimes ruthless nature of the step-up from underage football to the senior game.

On Monday, Bohs came out of the traps quickly with the ever-impressive 19-year-old Danny Grant putting them ahead after only two minutes.

But that good work was undone as he was forced off with a hamstring injury – set to rule him out for a least a month – while his replacement Graydon was sent off for two bookable offences in what was a turning point in the game, with Dundalk making their extra man count and equalising 12 minutes later through Georgie Kelly.

Bohs looked to have enough to claim a draw, however. But, for the second time this season, instead lost out in Oriel Park because of a last-minute penalty conceded by a full-back who had otherwise not put a foot wrong all game.

Indeed, Andy Lyons had cleared the ball off the line only minutes previously in what until stoppage time was yet another performance delivered with a maturity and confidence way beyond his 18 years.

It was a cruel lesson and one almost identical to when the sides last met at the same venue in April as Paddy Kirk’s foul on the edge of the box saw Bohs lose a game they should have won thanks to a last-minute penalty.

But there were other examples of youthful naivety: Graydon’s two bookings were avoidable, while fellow sub Reghba was taken off by Long to avoid him suffering the same fate.

And, perhaps most agonisingly, had Danny Mandroiu – the free-kick hero in the 1-1 draw away to St Pat’s last Friday – stayed on his feet in the Dundalk penalty area when he looked to have been fouled in the moments prior to the home side being awarded a spot-kick at the opposite end.

It was a frustrating night for the young guns but one Long says they can learn and bounce back from.

Long said: “It was a gut-wrenching injury-time defeat away, which consigned us to our second reversal to Dundalk in 10 days and a third defeat in just over a month against them.

“Having gone ahead in the game with an expertly taken goal from Danny Grant, things started to unravel for us just before half-time when Danny pulled up.

“Ryan, who replaced Danny, was shown two yellows in the space of 12 second-half minutes. The first looked a little soft and the second one, although it was a booking, was exaggerated by Daniel Cleary who quickly got to his feet to take the resulting free-kick.

“Ryan realised immediately. I’m not blaming the ref as we gave him a decision to make and we need to be better in those moments.

“Being a man down proved difficult. We had no real outlet but we defended resolutely with the occasional counter-attack.

“James made a couple of fantastic saves after the equaliser, which kept the game alive for us until injury-time when we broke and should have scored a winner with Robbie McCourt failing to make enough contact with Danny Mandroiu cross.

“But that highlighted one of the significant differences between us and Dundalk at this time. Danny was actually fouled in the penalty area before crossing to Robbie, but Danny stayed on his feet trying to create a goal-scoring opportunity.

“If that was a Dundalk player, they would have hit the ground and would have given the ref a decision to make. We need to be cuter in these moments and learn from this horrible feeling.

“The concession of another late penalty to decide the game was a dagger to the heart but, again, we have to do better.

“We are young. We have – and will continue to – make mistakes. But we must learn quickly how to manage moments in games better if we are to progress and continue to move forward. ”

That will be easier said than done as they welcome Liam Buckley’s Sligo Rovers to Dalymount.

The Bit O’Red have lost just once in the nine games since Bohs beat them 2-0 at the Showgrounds at the beginning of last month.

But Long expects a reaction from his side, adding: “This is an opportunity for us to bounce back from Monday’s disappointment.

“We need to show our mettle now and put in a performance at home after a couple of disappointing results.”

TEAM NEWS

Danny Grant (hamstring) is set to miss out for at least a month. Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Kevin Devaney (groin) and Keith Ward (ankle) are all doubts. Ryan Graydon is suspended. Cristian Magerusan remains out.

St Patrick's Athletic v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

UCD v BOHEMIANS POSTPONED

The Saturday June 8 league meeting between UCD and Bohemians has been postponed due to international call-ups.

HALF-SEASON TICKETS

Missed out on sold-out games this season?

Don’t miss out again! We have a limited number of half-season tickets now on sale.

They are valid for our final league nine home league games of 2019, starting with next Friday’s game against Finn Harps and including the following home game against Shamrock Rovers.

They do not include this week’s game against Sligo Rovers or games in the FAI, EA or Leinster Senior Cups.

Due to capacity constraints in the otherwise sold-out June 14 Dublin derby game against Shamrock Rovers, numbers are limited and sales will be on a first come, first serve basis.

Adult: €110. Student/Senior: €73. Junior: €55

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

LOI Underage Results/Fixtures

WEEKEND RESULTS (MAY 18/19)

There were four wins and four clean sheets for our League of Ireland underage teams at the weekend. Well done to all involved.

  • U19s: Bohemians 5 (R Tierney 2, D Devoy, A Kelly, M O’Keane) Monaghan United-Cavan FP 0
  • U17s: Monaghan United-Cavan FP 0  Bohemians 6 (A Doran 3, P Omochere, R Mahon, T Considine)
  • U15: Bohemians 6 (J Finnerty 2, O Lawlor, D Simpson, S Grehan, S Agbaje) Carlow-Kilkenny FC 0
  • U13s: Klub Kildare 0 Bohemians 3 (N Okosun, M Cherico, M Tarzan)

The Bohs U17W fixture against Greystones was postponed due to player participation in international development squad.

THIS WEEKEND’S FIXTURES (MAY 25/26)

  • Bohs U19s: Longford Town (Sunday, City Calling Stadium, 2pm)
  • Bohs-SKB U17s: Longford Town (Saturday, St Aidan’s, 2pm)
  • Bohs U17W: Greystones Utd (Sunday, Oscar Traynor Centre, 2pm)
  • Bohs-SKB U15s: No fixture.
  • Bohs-SKB U13s: Dundalk (Sunday, Shanowen Road, 12pm)
Craig Sexton and Dawson Devoy

“You want to repay the faith shown to you”

ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Richmond Park, Friday May 17 2019, 7.45pm

Andy Lyons has made a habit of making the most of being thrown in at the deep end and is hoping to do so once more if afforded another opportunity when Bohemians make the short trip to face St Patrick’s Athletic in Inchicore tonight.

It was this very fixture at Richmond Park in September last that made people sit up and notice the quality of young players being brought through at Bohs.

Manager Keith Long surprised everyone by making 11 changes, giving debuts to three teenagers from the start and another from the bench.

The selection may have appeared a bit out of left field. But, with an FAI Cup semi-final coming up the following weekend and a growing trust in the abilities of players coming through at the club, Long felt the changes prudent.

The club’s successes at U19 level and below had earned plaudits, yet doubts remained as to whether those coming through could make the step-up and cope with the demands involved in first-team League of Ireland football.

READ MORE

Those doubts came from the outside – Long trusted his instincts and those of his backroom staff. He had no fear giving young players an opportunity he felt their efforts deserved. While many lacked experience, he trusted their ability to adapt.

That trust was vindicated. It was sink or swim, but worth the risk. Yet just how quickly most adapted came as a surprise to most – probably even to Long, although he is unlikely to admit it.

Lyons was one of those young guns who stood up to be counted. He had already been blooded in games in the Leinster Senior and EA Sports cups, making his league debut off the bench against Derry in April.

He followed that up by deputising in place of injured skipper Derek Pender in subsequent games, delivering performances a seasoned pro would have been proud of.

And, a month after turning 18 and just as he embarked on his Leaving Cert year, he continued to belie his inexperience when he was one of those 11 men brought in and tasked with making the most of the opportunity afforded them.

Things looked ominous when the Gypsies conceded after just three minutes, but the maturity of their response made victory all the sweeter as a brace from teenager Ali Reghba – with a goal from Robbie McCourt sandwiched in between – giving Bohs a perhaps unexpected victory.

But the 3-1 win – and the manner of it – didn’t come just arrive from nowhere.

It was several seasons in the making between work at U19 and U17 levels driven towards a collective goal coupled with the budding partnership with St Kevin’s beginning to bear fruits.

Taking time out from his Leaving Cert studies, Lyons said: “The club has shown that if you work hard, you will get your chance. I think we’ve the best youth system in the country.

“Every young player should want to come to Bohs. The management make you believe in yourself and you want to repay the faith shown to you.

“You are made feel part of a family and if you’re good enough, you will be given an opportunity.”

Lyons is well-placed to pass comment. Earmarked by Long as one for the future when he watched him lining out for St Joseph’s Boys, Lyons then came through the ranks at Bohs’ U17s and U19s.

At U19 level, he was captain as Craig Sexton’s side won the league last season to make it two-in-a-row for the club at that level.

They also won the Enda McGuill Cup to make it a double as well as proudly representing Ireland in the Uefa Youth League where they narrowly lost out to FC Midtjylland.

He has since, alongside Reghba, helped the Ireland U19s qualify for the European Championships and will be expecting to be on the plane to Armenia with them in July.

Lyons said: “Keith Long picked me up watching me at U15s or U16s. I’m a big Joey’s man, as was Keith Long.

“I came through with Jimmy Mowlds’ U17s and then with the 19s. You are learning all the time and are being pushed all the time but are made feel part of the family.”

Earlier this season, Long sighted Lyons and fellow full-back and fellow former Bohs U19 captain Paddy Kirk as perfect examples of what the club wants from players coming through at youth level.

He said: “They understand what it is to be a Bohs player. They have an affinity with the club and they know what it means to play for the club. That’s the class of player we want.

“Andy wants to play more games. He’s behind our club captain Derek Pender but is pushing for more regular starts. Paddy is the same. Paddy is absolutely breathing down the neck of Darragh.”

Lyons’ confidence is evident but he is also too humble to talk himself up too much.

He does, however, echo the sentiment of knowing what it means to play for the club and that sense of belonging, despite having to bide his time when it comes to first-team opportunities.

He said: “It’s become a second home for me. It’s my second family.”

Such affinity might not have come so easily in previous times.

But one of the net results of the restructuring of youth football and the extension of League of Ireland football to U19, U17, U15 and, most recently – and less popularly – to U13 level, is the chance of players developing a long-standing relationship with a League of Ireland club in a way that would not have happened before.

While his own past and loyalties mean he will always be a Joey’s man, Lyons came to the club at a young age and has already seen the potential of Bohs’ partnership with Kevin’s and believes it can only get better.

He said: “I’ve been at the club a few years now so know what it means. That relationship from schoolboy right to first team could be huge.”

That relationship was already there. It was just a matter of joining up the dots.

In the first team, you have Darragh Leahy, Danny Mandroiu, Robbie McCourt and Luke Wade-Slater, who were all at St Kevin’s before being reunited at Bohs having returned home from spells in England.

At coaching level too, the intertwined crossover in affinities are too plentiful to mention.

Lyons said: “The structures are such that you could have players at the club together for four or five years together before they even get to the first team.

“That could be huge and will make it feel even more like a family.”

Making the step-up from underage level to senior is another story though. Not all will make it, but they will be afforded the opportunity to do so.

Helping them along the way are senior pros, the likes of captain Derek Pender and vice-captain Keith Buckley.

Having come on for his captain seven minutes into last week’s 2-0 defeat to Dundalk, Lyons will be aiming to retain his place. But getting selected ahead of a man he looks up to and respects will never be easy.

“Detser” is regularly held up as an example by younger players as someone who inspires them and helps them along the way.

James Talbot’s interviews this week being a case in point. Winning the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association Player of the Month Award, the 22-year-old said: “You look at Derek Pender. I saw a video of Detser before the Shamrock Rovers game in the huddle, and you could see what it means to him.

“They’re the sort of people you want to be playing with. I’d go to war with Detser. If he dropped there, I’d jump on him, I’d do anything for him.”

But part of Detser’s leadership qualities is his amusing ability of bringing young players with notions back down to earth.
Lyons’ standing as a pupil at Blackrock College and a rugby fan makes him a natural target for slagging in a football dressing room, especially from a no-nonsense captain born and reared in inner-city Dublin.

That was the case once again this week when Blackrock College tweeted a photo of Lyons being presented with a sports day award by Ireland and Leinster star Garry Ringrose, a notable alumni of the prestigious school.

Lyons laughs: “I get a bit of stick! I got an award… but I wasn’t telling anyone at Bohs about it!

“But it went up on twitter. I came to training Detser was just looking at me, staring at me. I knew I was about to get a slagging. I walked in and he was like “who was that lad in the photo? He didn’t know who the No 13 for Ireland was!

“I’m always getting slagged for liking rugby. It’s all good fun. Detser was giving me a lift but he threatened to make me get the bus!”

Like his captain, Lyons enjoys a laugh but also like a captain, he is ultimately a serious and driven personality.

He would have to be when juggling being a senior footballer with studying for his Leaving Cert.

That kicks off in two and a half weeks’ time. Lyons is studying eight subjects – English, Irish, maths, biology, Spanish, geography, home economics and business studies.

He admits combing both his sporting ambitions with his educational ones is a challenge.

But it’s one he relishes, adding: “It’s hard enough. You’ve got three nights’ training, a match and then a recovery session at the weekend.

“But I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. It breaks up the day and I manage it okay.”

And what to next when the results come in?

He added: “I want to go to college, maybe DCU. I’m looking at courses in business and sport management, that line of things… but we’ll see!”

TEAM NEWS

This game will come too soon for Rob Cornwall (Achilles), Conor Levingston (foot) and Danny Grant (knee). Keith Ward (foot) is a doubt. Cristian Magerusan (cruciate) remains out.

Bohemians v UCD - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division
Website by Simon Alcock