TOP GEYSER…  Beattie celebrates scoring on his competitive debut after returning home from Iceland. Pics: A. Baldiemann

Having been glued to YouTube clips of Bohemians fans in full voice, new signing Steven Beattie knows how much it would mean to give them something to shout about again this season, writes FRANKIE LALLY.

The Skerries man, 25, is something of an unknown on these shores after spending the last six and a half years playing abroad. But this Gypsy is done travelling for now and says it feels good to be home – especially after joining up with Owen Heary’s side.

“I’m delighted, absolutely buzzing,” he explained. “Owen said to me three weeks ago that he wanted to sign me. I had an offer in Iceland and from another League of Ireland club but I’m happy here.

“I told Owen that I wanted to get it done as soon as possible. I got on well with the lads here straight away and I wanted to be with a big club, so I wanted to be with Bohs.”

The striker, who started off as a right-back during his time as a Shelbourne schoolboy, began his travels in 2007 with a scholarship at North Kentucky University where he helped himself to a college record of 77 goals and 33 assists as well as playing his part in them winning the NCAA Division II title for the first time.

He then became the first Irish player to be invited to attend the MLS combine – a four-day annual showcase of skills for college players – and was drafted by MLS side Toronto FC in 2011.

Beattie’s time in Toronto did not go to plan, however, and he soon joined Puerto Rico Islanders but tore his cruciate ligament in his first game for the club.

After coming back to Ireland for surgery, Beattie returned to Kentucky to complete his PR and marketing degree before he penned a deal with UMF Tindastoll, a Second Division team from Iceland, in 2012.

But now he’s finally back home and has already introduced himself in style. He netted a hat-trick in his trial game against Swords Celtic last month before getting on the scoresheet in his competitive debut in the 5-1 Leinster Senior Cup victory against Bray Wanderers on Thursday, where he also helped Jason Byrne get find the target after a wonderful piece of skill.

He said: “No one really knows me here in Ireland after doing all my stuff away.

“I want to just try and get into the team as quickly as I can and start scoring goals. I want to help get this club back to where it deserves to be.

“I left for the States at 18, so I haven’t played at home in seven years. I just want to play as much as possible and show what I can do.”

Already determined to make his mark, watching clips of Bohs’ past successes has further whetted his appetite.

He said: “Bohs are a huge club and they don’t deserve to be fighting relegation. Bohs has always stuck out to me as the fans’ club. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of the fans and I’m buzzing to get in.

“I can’t wait for my first Dublin derby against Rovers, it’s the biggest derby in Ireland. I’d do anything to score in that and get a win. It would be nice to get the Bohs fans behind me by scoring against Rovers.”

The former Coláiste Íde student reckons completing his degree is one of the best decisions he has made and would tell any young player to further themselves in education while pursuing their footballing dreams.

“I saw how important having an education was after I got the injury,” he explained. “I’d recommend it to any young lad. If you don’t make it in football then you have a degree to fall back on. I’ve seen so many lads go to England at 14, 15 or 16 and they come back and they don’t even have a Junior Cert.

“When you come out of college over there, you are still only 21 or 22 so you have plenty of time to go on and have a pro career with a degree to fall back on.

“I definitely matured after the injury. I was with the Manchester United academy when I was young with Jonny Evans and Anto Stokes and I was with Shels growing up but I was always told I was too small – I was tiny. I got the offer to go and do a scholarship in the States at 18 and I wanted to give it a bash. I fell in love with the place and the rest is history.”

One man who will be vital to Bohs this season is veteran striker Byrne – and ‘Jayo’  has already has a big impact on Beattie. “I’m already learning so much from Jay,” he added. “I thought, ‘I’m 25 I know everything’, but jeez, I know nothing compared to Jay. In training I’m picking up little things from him like his movement around the box. It’s definitely a plus playing and looking at Jay.”

Robbie O’Reardon also caught up with Beattie after Thursday’s win against Bray for a video interview filmed by Jamie O’Halleron:

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