Bohemians v Dundalk - SSE Airtricity League Premier Division

SSE Airtricity League
Friday March 4 2022
Finn Park, 8pm
Live on LOITV

Ali Coote is happy with his new central role with Bohemians – even if those who have replaced him on the wings have been the centre of attention so far.

Bohs have amassed four points from their opening two games of the 2022 SSE Airtricity League season with a 2-2 draw against Dundalk last Friday and a 1-0 win against St Patrick’s Athletic on Monday.

Used mainly out wide on the right in 2021, Coote impressed in his debut season at Dalymount Park, so much so that he picked up the SSE Airtricity/SWI August Player of the Month Award following the starring role he played in Bohs’ European run.

This year so far, however, Coote has played in the central role behind the striker that was vacated by Ross Tierney following his closed season move to Motherwell.

And 23-year-old Coote is happy to be given an opportunity in a position that he feels comes more naturally to him.

The Scotsman, who lives with team-mates Liam Burt, Stephen Mallon and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe, said: “I am really enjoying the role so far. It is more my position.

“Last season, when I was playing on the right, I was more plugging a hole.

“I think I did quite well there, but I am happy to show what I can do in a different role this season.”

The role Coote himself has vacated for now has seen Kris Twardek reclaim the right-wing berth he occupied in 2020 season before he departed for stints in Poland and Czech Republic, while Burt’s absence through injury has afforded fit-again Mallon an opportunity to impress on the opposite flank.

Twardek’s performances in the opening two games have earned great plaudits, while Mallon claimed the headlines on Monday with his Dublin derby winner.

Coote said: “We all knew what Stephen was capable of. We saw it in training last season and in the few minutes he got last season.

“We are delighted he finally has a chance to show that properly now, and that he got his first goal as well. Long may that continue.

“We all know what Kris is capable of as well from his time with Bohs and the league previously. He is a really quick and physical threat, and has come into the team and has done really well so far.”

While the season is only in its infancy, the attacking performances so far bode well for the time ahead, particularly when you consider the talent of Burt and Junior are yet to come into contention.

Coote said: “You need that element of healthy competition in the squad so that in every game and training session we keep returning a high level performance.

“I think we have been good so far. We built on our performance in the first game to get a good result against St Pat’s. To be honest, we felt we could have been more clinical in that game too, so there is plenty to work on.

“The whole team is young. It will take time to get exactly where we want to be but we seem to be clicking quickly so far.

“We are fully aware that we need to keep that going, and that we need to keep on improving now, but the signs are positive so far.”

Coote and Co will look to build on their opening two outings when they make the long trip to Donegal to face Ollie Horgan’s Finn Harps.

Coote added: “Finn Harps is another big challenge for us to see where we are at – we all know how tough a place it is to go, and that they have a unique direct style. We will need to be at our very best.”


Liam Burt (groin) and Junior Ogedi-Uzokwe (ankle) remain unavailable.

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