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.”


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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