Bohemian Football Club is delighted to confirm the appointment of Declan Devine as manager of the men’s first team.

Devine comes to the club on a two-year deal. He will take the reins on Monday having attended tonight’s game away to St Patrick’s Athletic.

The 49-year-old has enjoyed success during two stints as manager of his hometown club Derry City, winning the FAI Cup and qualifying for Europe three times, having previously won a league title with the club as a player.

He was also on the coaching staff of the Candystripes during Stephen Kenny’s two terms as manager, serving as first-team coach and assistant manager to the future Ireland boss.

In between his own spells in charge at the Brandywell, he also managed Northern Ireland at underage level.

Devine said: “The opportunity to lead this football club is something that really excites me. For me personally, it gives me so much pride. It is a proud moment for my family too.

“But we don’t have time to celebrate. I have a job to do, I will be completely immersing myself in moving to Dublin, and it will be full pelt from Monday.

“I am going to do everything in my power to ensure this club is back where it belongs and for me, that means Bohs being back at the top of the table.

“I’m a working class guy from a working class background. My ultimate goal has always been to work as hard as I possibly can to achieve success.

“I want our players and staff to follow the same mantra. I want us to do everything in our power to bring success to this club.

“I want to put together a squad that has an identity with its people and its supporters. The players need to reflect that.”

After tonight’s game, Devine will take charge for the final three games of the season and he wants to use that time to get to know and assess the current squad of players ahead of next year.

Devine said: “This next week or so will be about assessments. It will be about watching so many of the games, it will be about watching people’s attitudes, and it will be about speaking to individuals.

“I want to speak to all the staff and get their opinions about where things have gone wrong and where things have gone right.

“It is time to assess exactly where we are as a club on the playing side of things and on the coaching side of things, and to make sure that we put the structures in place to enable us to get back to the very top of Irish football.

“I want to win trophies. 2010 is the last time that Bohemian Football Club won a trophy and that is far too long for a club of this size, stature and support base.

“But the first thing we need to do is become hard to beat. I watched from the outside this year looking in and games were lost that Bohemians should not be losing.

“We have to have a group of players that are pulling together in the one direction. We have got to have a DNA that we are going to be the fittest, hardest-working club in the country.”

After several seasons of being on an upward trajectory thanks to the hard work and dedication of his predecessor Keith Long – qualifying for Europe twice, progressing in the Europa Conference League and reaching a cup final – the reality is that Bohemians have failed to live up to expectations this season.

Devine is determined to put a smile back on the faces of the Dalymount faithful again and reward them for their support of the club.

He added: “First of all, no team should be coming to Dalymount Park and winning except Bohemians. It is as simple as that.

“We have got to have a heart and soul about the team that reflects the people who in their thousands come on a weekly basis to support them.

“There are similarities between Bohemians and Derry City. They are two of the hardest-working clubs in the country and that is something that really appealed to me about Bohemians.

“I have had opportunities in the past to go to clubs where I didn’t feel I would have a chance to be successful.

“That is something I didn’t want to do after leaving Derry City. I only wanted to go to a club that has ambition and wants to win things.

“There is no better feeling than bringing success to a football club and that is what I want to do.

“Unfortunately for Bohemians, the team lost an FAI Cup final in the cruelest way possible on penalty kicks last season. Those are the cruel fine margins in football and it is our job to try and close those gaps.

“I want that rapport between fans and players; that understanding. How we go about our jobs has got to be a reflection of the people who support us.

“Money is tight for everyone right now so even more so than ever, when this community is putting out their hard-earned cash to support the team, we have got to make sure we perform to the levels that they expect.

“That is easy to say but the one thing you have to do to play on my team is to leave everything out on the pitch on a Friday night.

“I am now in the fortunate position that I am the figurehead of the football side of things, but there is so much work going on behind the scenes, that we have to pull our weight to pull the whole thing together.

“It has got to be one big team and that team consists of playing staff, coaching staff, supporters, board of directors; everyone pulling in the one direction.

“We have to close the gap on the clubs that are above us. We have got to achieve success together.

“The fans have got to be greedy. The players have got to be greedy. I have got to be greedy.

“We need to set our targets high as anything is possible when you are at a club the magnitude of Bohs and I will not be leaving any stone unturned to ensure that the highest standards are driven by me every week.”

Luke O’Riordan

Website by Simon Alcock