Preview: St Patrick’s Athletic v Bohemians


SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division
Friday August 11 2023, Richmond Park, 7.45pm
Live on RTÉ 2

Declan Devine says neither side will need any extra motivation when Bohemians travel to Richmond Park to take on St Patrick’s Athletic in tonight’s Dublin derby.

Just a point separates the sides with St Pat’s, rejuvenated since Jon Daly took the reins in May, in second place in the SSE Airtricity Men’s Premier Division and Bohs in third.

Bohs come into the game buoyed by striker Jonathan Afolabi picking up the SSE Airtricity Soccer Writers Ireland Player of the Month Award for July.

His rich vein of form – scoring nine goals in his last seven games – has been crucial to Bohs’ upturn in form.

Devine said: “He’s been awesome. It’s incredible for him because he’s been outstanding all year and then all of a sudden the goals are coming, and the hype surrounds him now, and that’s correct.

“He’s fully deserving of it and we hope now that he can keep pushing on because the sky’s the limit for him.

“He deserves the recognition and all the plaudits he is getting because he works so hard. He never misses training.

“He comes in every day and he’s got that big friendly, gentle smile on him but then he takes to the pitch and becomes an absolute monster for defenders.

“He is a really popular guy in the group. They are all very close, and I think the players understand and appreciate the work that he is putting in.

“He’s just such a nice person and I’m delighted for him, absolutely delighted for him, and delighted for the group as well because we all want individual recognition for our players.

“Hopefully that will be a catalyst now to finish the season strongly and should give him enormous confidence, and the team huge confidence.”

Bohs chalked up another home win last week when they beat Drogheda United 4-2 at Dalymount Park.

But having taken the lead as early as the second minute through Kacper Radkowski – the Pole’s first goal for the club – Devine was frustrated that his side allowed 10-man Drogs back into the game.

Devine said: “First and foremost, it was important that we won the game. But our game management is something we need to get better at, and we have spoken about that this week.

“At the same time, we were the dominant team. But it was disappointing that we let them back into it when they were down to 10 men.

“But I don’t think there is a team in the country that scores as many late goals as us and that is a credit to the players.

“Getting Kacper on the scoresheet was our 15th goalscorer this season in a tight squad, so it is pleasing that we have players all over the pitch capable of scoring.

“So there were positives to take out of the game, but at certain times of the game we let our standards drop and you can’t do that against a good side like Drogheda.”

He knows too that St Pat’s are a team with a pep in their step and capable of punishing such mistakes, but says his side are looking forward to heading to Inchicore with confidence and belief.

Devine added: “St Pat’s have a lot of good players and Jon has done a fantastic job since he’s come in there.

“But this is a Dublin Derby where two top teams go head to head. It’s gonna be full house and it’s live on the box, so there’s absolutely zero extra motivation needed for either team.

“We’ve got to make sure that when we play the game that we play with belief and we play with confidence because we deserve to play with belief and we deserve to play with confidence.

“So this is a game that we look forward to. It’s a game that certainly whets the appetite for everybody connected with both clubs.

“And it’s a venue that early in the season we were very good in, and performed very well there.

“In the home game we had a right go with ten men and we should have got a draw with ten men. So there’s been very little between the two teams all year.

“It is set up for a game where I think both teams will give a right go. We’ve got to just make sure that we give ourselves every opportunity to go there and win the game by being defensively solid but also as creative as we have been in the final third.”


Dean Williams is Bohs’ only absentee.

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