“The challenge is to try and improve”

Bohemians 3 Shamrock Rovers 1 by Simon Alcock

SSE Airtricity League, Dalymount Park, Friday 26 June, 7.45pm

Bohemians resume their league campaign determined to maintain at least their present position in the table.

Finishing the first half of the season and a very intense week with victory over Shamrock Rovers, was “fantastic”, according to manager Keith Long.

But he and his squad are fully focused on the games ahead. “The real challenge for us is to try and improve in the second half of the season. The same three points are on offer this Friday as they were against Shamrock Rovers,” Long said.

“You’re always a little anxious how the players will react, coming back from the break. But they have come back in good spirits, trained well this week and are fully focused on Friday’s game against Drogheda.”


Long expects a very competitive game as Drogheda United look to move up the table. Last April in Drogheda Bohemians came away with a 2-1 win, thanks to a late goal from sub Marc Griffin.

Eight yellow cards were handed out that evening, including two in quick succession for ex-Drogheda player Derek Prendergast. Bohemians played 70 minutes with ten men, showing the grit that has become their trade-mark this season.

Long believes Drogheda may come to Dalymount feeling “a little aggrieved” at that result and wanting to “take something from the game”.

“I have seen them play a few times this year away from home and they’re organised, difficult to break down and can exploit on the counter-attack,” he said.

The season-break has given time for Robbie Creevy (groin) to recover fully and for Paddy Kavanagh (knee) to get back into training, though he is likely to be out until next week. Kealan Dillon had tonsillitis during the break but is fit again.

Still out are the longer-term injured, Derek Pender, Dan Byrne and Marc Griffin, and Jason Byrne will be out for a few weeks with a calf strain, while Dylan Hayes (back) is also sidelined.

Dave Mulcahy and Anto Murphy benefited from the week off to regain full fitness, having returned from injury to play key roles in the win over Shamrock Rovers.

“They’re experienced players, they’ve been around the league a long time and they know what it takes to win games like that,” said Long. “They were pivotal in that win.”

Website by Simon Alcock