Drogheda United have completed the re-signing of defender Lloyd Buckley, who will be eligible for Friday’s First Division league opener ...Thu, Feb 22 2018
Manager: Keith Long
Stadium: Dalymount Park
Players in: JJ Luney (St. Patricks Athletic), Cristian Magerusan (Lucan United), Kevin Devaney (Galway United), Ryan Swan (Cabinteely), Karl Moore (Bray Wanderers), Darragh Leahy (Coventry City), Keith Buckley (Bray Wanderers), Dylan Watts – on loan (Leicester City)
Players out: Ismahil Akinade (Waterford), Fuad Sule (Barnet), Dylan Hayes (Bray Wanderers), Warren O’Hora (Brighton & Hove Albion), Eoin Wearen (Limerick)
Extratime.ie Key Man: Dinny Corcoran
The striker signed back with Bohs ahead of last year’s season start and played a crucial part in Keith Long’s side as the Gypsies enjoyed a strong finish in the league. The Portrane man is enjoying his third spell with the Phibsboro club and last year pitched in with an impressive 15 league goals.
With Izzy Akinade leaving for Waterford and new signing Ryan Swan sidelined for the start of the season with an injury picked up in pre–season, Corcoran’s league experience and eye for goal will be crucial if Keith Long’s side are going to have a similar season to last year.
Extratime.ie One To Watch: Ryan Swan
Ryan Swan will follow in the footsteps of his father Derek having signed for Bohs ahead of the 2018 Premier Division season. Derek was a fans favourite at Dalymount and played up front at the club for six years from 1994 to 2000.
Ryan rose to prominence during his time at UCD having scored 12 goals in 26 league games during his debut season with the club. He also scored all three of UCD’s goals in their four Europa League games that season and put in a man of the match display against F91 Dudelange.
Since leaving UCD, Swan had a brief spell with English League Two side Exeter City and last season played with Cabinteely in the First Division. The Premier Division will be a new challenge for him this season and it will be very interesting to see how he settles in. If he gets the service from his team mates around him, he will surely be one to watch as the season progresses.
How they did last season:
League: 5th (Premier Division)
At the start of last season, Bohemians were being tipped for relegation by many and for others would be one of the teams that were certainties to be at least involved in the relegation scrap as the business end of the season approached.
As it happened, for many, Keith Long was the Manager of the Year last season after guiding Bohs to an extremely impressive fifth place finish with extremely limited resources.
They recorded impressive wins over the top three of Cork, Dundalk and Shamrock Rovers during the season and also won nine of their sixteen away games over the course of the season as well.
They finished the season a dozen points above the relegation places on a total of 47 points, a very impressive end to the season for a squad that seems to be striking a very nice balance between experience and youth.
FAI Cup: First Round
Bohs failed to make it past the first round of the F.A.I cup last season with a 4-3 defeat to Finn Harps in Ballybofey early on in what was always going to be a tricky away tie.
EA Sports Cup: Second Round
The Gypsies went one step further in the EA Sports Cup defeating Cabinteely in the opening round on a narrow 1-0 scoreline but bowed out in the second round against close rivals Shamrock Rovers in a 3-1 defeat in Tallaght Stadium.
Leinster Senior Cup: Quarter-Final
The club entered the Leinster Senior Cup in the fourth round as holders from 2016 and started off with a 2-1 win away to Leinster Senior League side Malahide United.
They advanced to play Shelbourne in the quarter final in Tolka Park but were soundly beaten 3-0 and that was the end of the Leinster Senior Cup adventure for 2017.
What to expect for this season:
Keith Long has been busy in the transfer window ahead of the season kick off on February 16th bringing in a total of eight players to strengthen the squad.
Similar to last season, Long will hope to combine both experience and youth as he looks to continue the impressive progress he has made each season since taking over at the club.
The team have a very solid spine right down the middle with the experienced Shane Supple in goal, Rob Cornwall at the back, Keith Ward in the middle and Dinny Corcoran leading the line up top.
There are a lot of younger players in the squad this season who will all be hoping to make an impact and get themselves playing regularly in the team.
Although at times it was a struggle, last season this team showed hard work, resolve and a never say die attitude in each game and deservedly finished in 5th place.
There is no reason, under the astute management of Keith Long that they can’t push for a similar position this season and may even challenge for a top four finish.
Title Odds: 50/1
First Game: Shamrock Rovers (Home), Friday February 16th (Live on RTE 2, kick off 7.30pm)