Bohemian Football Club is delighted to confirm that Declan Devine’s first signing as manager will see Keith Buckley return to the club as captain on a three-year contract.

Buckley, 30, previously amassed 318 appearances for the first team in all competitions and will come back home this winter after a year abroad in Australia.

Speaking ahead of his first press conference as Bohemians manager later today, Devine said: “I need people alongside me who really care about this club and who understand what Bohemian Football Club is about. I have that in bucket-loads with my first signing.

“As soon as I knew I was getting this job, the first person I wanted beside me was Keith Buckley.

“He is part of the fabric and DNA of Bohemians. I see him as part of the past, now the present and also the future as we move forward together as a club.

“This is an important step towards where we want to get to before the start of next season.

“Everything I believe in, Keith has it all; high levels of standards in both the way he plays and the way he goes about his job on a daily basis.

“I can’t wait to get him back here. There is a lot of work to be done from the minute he comes home but there is no better man to carry out that hard work.

“From this moment forward, Keith is my first-team captain, and he will start driving standards from day one.

“When people pay their hard-earned money to come to Dalymount, they will know that they are going to get character, effort, determination and people striving for every point.

“That’s what I want to build this team around. I want people to come on the journey with us, and I want us to get this club back where it belongs.”

Buckley said: “The minute I got a call from Declan, straight away I knew he was a man after my own heart from the way he spoke about how he wants the team to play and the kind of character he wants to have playing for the club.

“Everyone has to be laser-focused and give everything every single day, not just turn up on match day. He wants big strong characters to push each other, and for all players to mirror that effort.

“He also wants players who have a connection to the club to explain how important Bohs and the team is to its people. Maybe that connection has been lost a little bit this year.

“This club gave me my chance in football and it means a lot to me. I remember in 2011, my first year with the club, up in Derry on the last day of the season when people didn’t know whether the club was going to survive.

“I remember the fans were on the pitch with the banner ‘this isn’t the end’ and it made me realise what this club meant to people. The fans saved their club and that moment has always stuck with me.

“It is a special club and I have always tried in the past to filter that down to players who come in, so that they can feed off that.

“And after the chats I have had with Declan, I know he feels the same way and I can’t wait to come home to play for him.”

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