“We would die for each other out there”

Bohemians v Cabinteely - Extra.ie FAI Cup Second Round

SHAMROCK ROVERS v BOHEMIANS
SSE Airtricity League
Saturday September 5 2020
Tallaght Stadium, 2pm
Exclusively live on eir Sports

On the eve of our 130th birthday, Bohemians travel to Tallaght Stadium today for our first top-of-the-table clash against rivals Shamrock Rovers since 2010.

But one man with experience of netting important goals at the Dublin 24 venue is likely to have to settle for a place on the bench this time around.

Dinny Corcoran made his long-awaited return to the scoresheet on Monday when he netted in Bohs’ 2-0 Extra.ie FAI Cup tie against Cabinteely.

READ MORE

It has been a long road to recovery for the fans’ favourite, who saw his 2019 season cut short after he broke his ankle against Sligo Rovers nearly 14 months ago.

It was tough on Corcoran, whose early-season form saw him pick up the SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month Award two months previously.

Corcoran, 31, said: “It was a long break, I broke it against Sligo last May. I worked really hard over the lockdown to build up my fitness again.

“It was great to get 90 minutes under the belt against Cabinteely and a win.

“It was my first start in over a year, I played a few minutes against Cork after the restart but that was the only competitive football I’ve played since last summer.”

Such is the competition for places in the team, that the likes of Corcoran, along with the club’s other two previous SSE Airtricity/Soccer Writers’ Association of Ireland Player of the Month Award winners, Danny Mandroiu and James Talbot, have had to be patient.

Corcoran said: “The whole team has come back from the break flying. They’re flying fit and we are unbeaten in the league since the return.

“If you are a manager, it is hard to change a winning team. I just have to be patient and hopefully I’ll get my chance and take it if I do.

“I played regularly over the last two or three years under Keith Long and Trevor Croly, so I’m not complaining or angry that I’m not in the team.

“The team is winning and that’s the most important thing. If I get five or ten minutes here, I have to take that chance and be ready for it between now and the end of the season.”

But if the game today is in the balance, manager Keith Long knows he has a proven goalscorer on the bench who he can turn to.

Corcoran said: “Of course I’m hoping I can get on. I have a few fond memories out in Tallaght. But the team are getting goals from everywhere, so hopefully whoever is on the pitch will get the job done.

“It will be a different kind of Dublin derby but it’s all about the three points. It is going to be strange out in Tallaght with no fans. These games are usually jam-packed… carnage!

“But we have got used to playing with no fans at this stage. We know they are behind us watching from home or wherever they will watch it, so that is in the back of our minds the whole time.

“It will take away from the occasion but the boys will be focused no matter what.”

Few predicted Bohs to be sitting in second place at this stage of the season, and they go into the game as underdogs with the bookies.

Corcoran said: “Every game, you put yourself under pressure to perform. Maybe there’s a bit more for this game. There is pressure on us but there is a bit more on them. ”

But one thing this Bohs team have in spades going into a game of such importance is a strong sense of unity and togetherness, which is mirrored throughout the club.

Corcoran said: “The team morale is great. That’s what has got us where we are. There is a great team bond and it shows on the pitch.

“We would die for each other out there. Keith has assembled a great squad with good characters. It’s probably the best squad we’ve had in years.”

Corcoran plays an important role in that as following the retirement of experienced players such as Derek Pender and Shane Supple in recent seasons, at 31, he finds himself as the elder statesman in a squad that has an average age of 23.

He added: “They’re keeping me young. I guess I’m the experienced fella in the team but I’m a bit cooler than Detser or Supps!

“I’ve been in the league 12 or 13 years now, so I know it quite well. I’m just there to help if any of the younger lads need it.”

And if the game is in the balance, they might need his help today too.

TEAM NEWS

Bohemians have a full squad to choose from.

IMPORTANT NOTE

Please note that today’s game is only available on eir Sport, who have exclusive rights.

It is NOT available on WatchLOI, unless you are an overseas customer/subscriber.

Website by Simon Alcock