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All the latest club news and updates from Dalymount Park.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v SHAMROCK ROVERS

Derek Pender believes Bohemians need to regroup quickly to bounce back after what has been a difficult few weeks for all at the club.

Trevor Croly and Pender have been put in temporary charge of the first team on an interim basis after the club parted ways with manager Keith Long on Tuesday.

Pender, signed by Aaron Callaghan in 2012, was an ever-present during Long’s near eight years at the club, serving as his captain until retiring from playing at the end of 2019, managing the U17s to a league title in 2020, and serving as his first-team coach this season and last.

He owes much of his career to Long, and spoke honestly about the reaction of staff and players following his mentor’s departure.

Pender said: “It’s been a very difficult week. It’s not nice to see someone lose their job.

“It’s been tough for the staff, the players and everyone involved at the club. Really hard.

“We all have so much respect for Keith for everything he did for the club, and for the players and staff over the last seven or eight years.

“It’s a bit of a shock to the system. On Tuesday evening, Keith came in and told the players and staff what was going on.

“The players are obviously down after what happened because Keith is a great man and everyone has a huge amount of respect for him.

“We all know we have let him down, and we all know the club did not want to have to make that decision to let Keith go.

“He means a lot to me as a person as well as a manager. Everyone at the club loves him.”

Long’s final game in charge saw Bohs fall to a 3-1 defeat at home to St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday night.

Pender said: “It was disappointing, we didn’t play well, and unfortunately the consequences of that were Keith was gone on Tuesday.

“The first half was unacceptable. It was unacceptable from all of us, not just the players.

“As staff, we set up the way we set up and it didn’t work. We all have to look at ourselves and we all have to take responsibility.

“In the second half, and I know people will say it is easy to start playing when you are 2-0 down, there was a reaction from the players. We need to see more of that.

“They went after the game, and played more aggressively. They played with hunger and fire in their bellies. That’s the Bohs way and that is what we will be looking for.“

The difficult task now is for Bohs to dust themselves down, but with a Dublin derby at Dalymount Park against Shamrock Rovers tonight in store, they should need no extra motivation.

Pender said: “It is going to be difficult but we know we have to all get on with our jobs.

“The club has asked me and Trevor to look after the players until the club makes a decision about what they want to do.

“Me and Trevor have been part of the club for a long time, and we will do what we are asked to do to the best that we can.

“We have to regroup quickly. We have a massive, massive game now.

“In spite of everything, the players will be looking forward to it and they will be giving it everything they can for the club. That is the least we expect from them.

“Rovers are flying at the moment, everything is going well for them. They are a top side, you can see that – they are top of the league and they have qualified for the group stages of the Europa Conference League.

“Their squad is very strong. It will be a tough game but it is a Dublin derby, they are different to any other league game.

“Anything can happen, and it’s not a hard game for players to motivate themselves for.”

In a difficult week, one positive was a first start for 17-year-old James McManus on Monday.

Arguably Bohs’ best player on the night, Pender believes McManus has what it takes to push on and become a key man for the club.

He added: “James has been brilliant. He is a great lad and has a great future at the club.

“He’s signed a three-year contract with the club, which is brilliant for him and for the club.

“He has the potential and the mindset to go as far as he can in the game.

“He was brilliant on Monday. He played with no fear and went after the game, which was great to see.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without James Talbot (shoulder), Laurenz Dehl (knee), Conor Levingston (knee), Jordan Flores (hamstring) and Johnny Afolabi (quad), while John O’Sullivan (quad) and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (knee) are doubts.

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

FIRST-TEAM MANAGER VACANCY

Bohemian FC is recruiting for the position of men’s first team manager.

Interested parties can apply to club Honorary Secretary Stephen Lambert by emailing applications@bohemians.ie.

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v ST PATRICK’S ATHLETIC

Keith Long knows qualifying for Europe through the league will be an uphill task this season but says Bohemians will be doing everything in their power to defy the odds.

Nine points separate Bohs in sixth and tonight’s opponents St Patrick’s Athletic in fourth, and Long knows his side are running out of time to try and close that gap.

Long said: ”There’s lots of games and twists and turns, you can’t give up.

“There’s a big gap, we’ve not given up but we have made life difficult for ourselves.”

Bohs stopped a run of two defeats and a draw with Friday’s 2-0 win over Lucan United in the FAI Cup.

The challenge now is to build on that and improve their form in the league.

Long added: “There are lots of improvements to be made in terms of performance, but I was pleased with the effort and endeavour of the players.

”We need to continue to try and improve – we have to as it’s a big week with tonight’s game against St Pat’s and Friday against Shamrock Rovers.

”We will fight hard to win every game we can. It won’t be easy. It’s Pat’s, a Dublin derby here.

”St Pat’s are in reasonably good form coming in off the back of European competition. We have to play each other in another round of games.

“We’re not looking for perfection but we are looking for progression. We are working extremely hard. I believe we have the bones of a good side.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without James Talbot (shoulder), Laurenz Dehl (knee), Conor Levingston (knee), Jordan Doherty (hamstring), Jordan Flores (hamstring) and Johnny Afolabi (quad).

Lucan United v Bohemians - Extra.ie FAI Cup Second Round

PREVIEW: LUCAN UNITED v BOHEMIANS

A place in the quarter-finals of the FAI Cup awaits tonight’s winners but Keith Long also wants to put a smile back on the faces of Bohemians supporters after a difficult 10 days for all at the club.

There has been an outpouring of emotion and tributes following the tragic passing of club legend Derek Monaghan on Wednesday of last week, and supporters will tonight once again pay tribute to man known to all as Mono.

Long said: ”The club, as highlighted this week, shows us what it means to its community and people.

”We have a responsibility to represent those values on the football pitch and represent this club in a manner that upholds its proud tradition.

”We will be doing all we can to help lift the mood around Dalymount and hopefully bring a smile back onto the face of supporters.”

Bohs come into the game in disappointing league form.

Last month, league wins over UCD and Drogheda United in the league and an FAI Cup win away to Finn Harps had supporters encouraged that Bohs were finally beginning to find their groove this season.

But what followed was defeats against Sligo Rovers and Dundalk and, last Friday, a 1-1 draw away to Shelbourne.

Tyreke Wilson’s stunning free-kick saw Bohs go in ahead at the break but a frustrating second-half performance allowed 10-man Shelbourne claim a point, albeit through a penalty that should never have been awarded.

Long added: ”I know we have frustrated and angered supporters with many performances this year and we want to put things right on the pitch.

”We have given supporters hope, and we do not want to take that away.

”We know we must do our work on the pitch, and we are working hard to achieve that. I share many of our supporters’ frustrations and want the very best for this club.

”Ultimately, we must do better.”

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians are without James Talbot (shoulder), Laurenz Dehl (knee), Conor Levingston (knee), Jordan Doherty (hamstring) and Jordan Flores (hamstring), while a number of others carrying knocks will be assessed ahead of the game.

Tyreke Wilson celebrates scoring a goal with teammates 19/8/2022

Mono RIP

It was with absolute devastation that we last night learned of the tragic passing of our dear friend Derek Monaghan, known to all simply as Mono.

From DJ, to bar manager, to pitchside announcer, to steward, to you-name-it, Mono did everything – for everyone – in a variety of roles at the club for so many years.

On matchdays, Mono’s beaming smile was often the first thing to greet players and staff on arrival, and that same beaming smile would be the last thing so many supporters saw at the end of the night as he pulled the shutters down in the Members’ Bar after last orders.

From the children he laid on Christmas parties for every year to the old folks’ dance in the Members’ Bar every Sunday, Mono uplifted generations of Bohs fans.

Mono’s good form was infectious. He always had a kind word for everyone and everyone always had a kind word for Mono.

He was a constant positive presence in the lives of so many at the club and we are all struggling to comprehend life at Dalymount without him.

Football clubs really are all about people and Mono was one that made ours so special.

In the short few hours since news of his passing, we have laughed and cried at the many heartfelt tributes paid to our dearest of friends.

Predeceased by his father Patrick, we hope that those kind tributes are of some comfort to Mono’s mam Noeleen, beloved wife Elayne, children Adam, Sienna, Zara, and siblings Michelle, Robbie, Graham and Leanne.

To all of them, his extended family and friends, and to all who had the pleasure of knowing him, we extended our deepest condolences.

Ní bheidh a leithéid ann arís.

We encourage supporters, if they are in a position to do so, to contribute to a GoFundMe fundraiser for Mono’s young family: https://www.gofundme.com/f/fundraiser-for-family-of-derek-mono-monaghan

Mono 6

PREVIEW: BOHEMIANS v DUNDALK

Bohemians are looking to bounce back with victory against Dundalk at Dalymount Park tonight.

Keith Long’s side were left kicking themselves on Sunday as they squandered a 1-0 lead to lose 2-1 away to Sligo Rovers.

It was a set-back after three wins in a row prior to that, and after a sense that the summer recruits were really beginning to click.

Tonight will be another difficult challenge in what is, remarkably, Long’s side’s first game in Dalymount Park in 42 days.

Long said: “Dundalk are a competitive team who are in good form and have quality players throughout their squad.

“It will be a very difficult game and we will need to perform at our highest level if we are to get the points we require after what was a good return from games away from home until Sunday’s result in Sligo.

“We should have won that game – we had complete control until they scored and after that we imploded. There are no excuses – the final 25 minutes were not good enough. Especially disappointing was the fact that we brought huge numbers to Sligo and we let our fans down.

“We should have won but now we have given ourselves a mountain to climb again in terms of securing European football through the league.

“There will be lots of twists and turns before the end of season but Sunday was a real opportunity squandered to close the gap on the teams above us.”

Bohs’ last game on their home patch was the 3-2 defeat to Derry City on July 1. There have been nine additions to the squad since then, all of whom will be aiming to impress in front of the Jodi Stand faithful this evening should they be given an opportunity to do so.

 

Jonathan Afolabi (Celtic), who made his debut off the bench on Sunday, was the ninth summer arrival 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).

Long said: “Some of the new signings are very much a work in progress and it will take time to find their full match fitness and adapt to the league.

“With 19 players coming and going in this transfer window there has been a huge turnover in personnel.

“Those players coming into the club are on longer term deals and we hope that will provide more stability going forward.

“The most successful or best performing teams have much more stable squads than the least competitive ones.

“It is our aim to have minimal player movement at the end of every season to a point where we might only be adding three to four additions every winter to improve the squad.

“I believe we have gone a long way towards this and we can move forward with more stability and confidence with less of a player drain that we have experienced over the last number of seasons.

“But of more immediate concern is Dundalk. It has been a long time since we have played in Dalymount, for many players it will be their first taste of playing in front of the Jodi, and we want to put in a display our fans can be proud of.”

TEAM NEWS

James Talbot (shoulder) and Jordan Flores (hamstring) remain out, while Jamie Mullins and James McManus are doubts.

Sligo Rovers v Bohemians - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

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
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