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Thread: A Bohemian Rhapsody

  1. #1

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    A Bohemian Rhapsody

    After re energizing my love for the game thanks to this wonderful forum over the last number of days, eagerly reading through all the great tips and tricks - many I didn't know about, despite playing the game for a loooooong time in the past - inspired by some of the superb stories as well, it's now my turn to to bring back the memories. Hope you enjoy the read!

    I try to keep things crisp here, with regular updates. I don't use in-game editors or other scouting tools.
    Games is based on the amazing Patch +v4 update and no wib/wob tactic.







    A new life....





    „Stupid!“ said mom.
    Dad shrugged his shoulders.
    Boss said “thanks for your services and good luck.”
    Anyone else just thinks I’m crazy.

    Why would you give up what you have? Security, a good job and a healthy salary…. For THAT???!!

    Well, they don’t get it. They never will. It’s fine. I always live by the motto: Door opens? Better walk through it.
    And never stop dreaming…. Dreams can come true….

    ….. at least that’s what I thought. Hard cold facts tell a different story. A very different one! But now I’m in. All or nothing. You commit and you walk the walk.



    …….



    What they didn’t tell me: it’s nearly five Million. €uros; 5 and more than a handful of zeroes added that is. Debt. There isn’t a single cent hidden under the couch. Know what? When things look too good to be true, they often are not true. Plain and simple. Lesson learned.


    When Keith Long left the club at the end of last season to return full-time to his day job – after doing a wonderful work at the football club with limited resources over the last years – it probably should have set off alarm bells. I didn’t hear them ringing. Rose tinted glasses blurred my view.


    Even more so when they turned to me. ME?! The one who’s a bit involved with the youngsters at the club. Three times a week I train them – that’s the Under-15’s. But managerial experience on senior level? Plenty - if you except football manager games on the PC as as valid experience on your CV!

    Signing a contract on voluntary basis…. I really should have known. Should I? I was SO naive. So in love. So overwhelmed. After Keith’s departure, the club in shock; where to get a new manager? An initial internal search was fruitless. Key players left. Assistant coach Trevor Croly didn’t have the balls to take on the big job…. Those external candidates considered, ultimately were too costly. Money is always an issue at this club.

    The year was turning and then the bombshell: out of the blue the FAI announcement: next season three teams will be relegated. Boom. Just like that. If you were able to put a half decent team together on a shoe string, filled with some of your committed seniors and the best from the clubs current under-20’s crop, you always had a rather okayish chance to stay in the league. Now? Doomed. That's what you are.

    It got desperate. So one day I decided to give it a go. Someone has to to it eventually, right? There were men who flew planes on suicide missions in wars who said to themselves "got to be done". So do I. Thankfully in slightly less dramatic circumstances. Though some people would say football is the only thing that matters in life....


    Prepared with a thick map of prints, tactic notes and a 10k worded visionary essay on the future of the club I walked into the presidents office, put my hand up……... well, long story short - here I am. On the pitch, with ‘the boys’. First training session. A group of largely young men doing push ups. A whistle-blow. They get up and sprint 20 meters, down again…. aaaah the beauties of pre-season!




    ……..








    66/1. The bookies don’t believe in us. Why would they? Inside the club the expectations are nearly as pessimistic. Staying up is what matters. But everyone is realistic enough to understand what difficult challenge this could be. With other clubs in the league pumping big money into their squads, backed by suspect investors, the short-term gain for them will be huge; for us it is all about survival. There are hopes rather than expectations on me as the “emergency manager” to deliver on that. With three going down, we face an uphill battle right from the beginning.

    And that’s only what happens on the pitch. Off the pitch the situation is so bleak, if I’d known it before, I probably would have made a different decision - most likely would no be here right now!

    There is no money. Sure, that’s nothing new. Bohs never had money.
    At least ever since living the rich times in the early 2000’s, mortgaging the future away when investing in – certainly for Irish football – very expensive legs, didn’t yield in the outcome that was so desperately desired.

    Champions League group stages, the ultimate- yet elusive aim never materialized. You could ask the question “what if”. What if Mark Rossiter wouldn’t have made this crucial mistake in the 86th minute on a balmy July afternoon in 2009? Salzburg would have not scored. And the story of the Bohemian Football Club would have been a different one. Oh so close. Oh so painful. What if?





    Pointless question to ask. The club went down the drain subsequently. Nearly out of business. Barely surviving. The hangman has the nose around the neck for years now. Banks are still waiting for their money. They’ll have to keep waiting. There is no money. Only a big, fat, red number: €4.65 Million in debt.



    ……….



    There is little to no room to improve the squad. Though there is also no room on the training pitch for more players. 25 of those dancing around me. Some have never met before. Many of them could be my sons. Part of that is my doing. I wanted to have all the youngsters from our U19 train with the seniors. If this football club wants to have a future, then we need to build it up from scratch.

    It should become clear sooner rather than later who can live up to the demands of Premier Division football. Any of the older players is up for sale. Well, in reality every player is up for sale.

    I’m certainly motivated to tidy out. Give this club a new direction and structure. I put the house on red (or red and black for that matter), left my handsomely paying job at a big US corporation to become a full-time (yet) unpaid manager at an amateur football club in a largely semi-professional football league. This is my one and only chance to make this dream I dreamed all my life come true: be a successful football manager. Sure, this is not quite the Camp Nou… but hey, you got to start somewhere!


    ……….


    Bohemian FC - Squad Overview 2017/18:

    Goalkeeper:
    • Colin McCabe, IRL, 20
    • Greg Murray, IRL, 23
    • Shane Supple, IRL, 30



    Three decent keepers. Experienced Shane Supple, who used to play 34 times for Ipswich Town in the Championship back in younger years, is rightfully the number one, however young Colin McCabe is a more than solid backup who might go after the starters job.


    Defence:
    • Dan Byrne, IRL, 24 – D C
    • Warren O’Hara, IRL, 18 – D C
    • Dan Casey, IRL, 19 – D RC
    • Robert Cornwell, IRL, 22 – D RL
    • Derek Pender, IRL, 33 – D R
    • Dylan Hayes, IRL, 22 – D/M R
    • Dominic Peppard, IRL, 17 – D/M RC
    • Lorcan Fitzgerald, IRL, 28 – D/M L
    • Ian Morris, IRL, 30 – D/M LC
    • Eoin Wearen, IRL, 24 – D/DM C



    Bar the quite talented young Warren O’Hara there is a lack of talent in the centre. However plenty of decent options are available on the wings. Captain Derek Pender and Lorcan Fitzgerald made the left and right full-back position their own in recent years. This combination should prove useful once more. Flexible Ian Morris is likely to see a lot of game time this season. I like his pace in particular.


    Midfield:
    • Oscar Brennan, IRL, 21 – DM C
    • Keith Ward, IRL, 25 – M LC
    • Philip Gannon, IRL, 20 – MC
    • Eoghan Morgan, IRL, 19 – MC
    • Fuad Sule, IRL, 20 – MC
    • Dean Casey, IRL, 19 – AM R
    • Pat Kavanagh, IRL, 33 – AM R
    • Georgie Poynton, IRL, 19 – AM C



    Poor material for the wings, the middle of the park offers slightly better. Georgie Poynton, though only on loan from from Dundalk, as well as Oscar Brennan, have at least something to offer that looks like Premier Division level. Brennan in particular appeared composed and strong in the first training sessions. Ageing Paddy Kavanagh may find himself more on the bench than in recent years. Keith Ward, while a super smart lad, good on the ball and agile, is slower than a snake, and may not find a spot in the high energy playing style I have in mind.


    Attack:
    • Ismahil Akinade, NGA, 23 – AM/F C
    • Dinny Corcoran, IRL, 28 – FC
    • Ciaran O’Connor, IRL, 20 – FC
    • Steo Donnelly, IRL, 21 – SC



    The lightning fast Akinade and rock solid Dinny Corcoran could prove a potent one-two punch in this league. Steo Donnelly is talented but needs to show he's got the strengths to compete on senior level. Question mark: will the midfield be able to feed the striking force with enough decent material so they can score enough goals to keep up in the league?


    Spoiler!



    Summary: Solid defence including and certainly no problems in goal. The midfield is rather light in attacking quality. That could be a problem as it makes the task difficult to bring the rather fine striking force into play. With a lack of funds available though, the only hope of improving the team is to 1) sell some players 2) be lucky on the loan market.



    .........


    July 2017

    Tumultuous weeks. A normal pre-season is practically impossible. The little office in Dalymount Park – it’s more like a big box you'd see on building sides – is like a war zone. Papers on the ground everywhere. Phone calls, mails, printer noise, people screaming….. high drama. contracts of nearly the whole team are due to expire when the year turns. No money available to build a team. Rival clubs try to poach the backroom team.

    Bids to extend the contracts of those lads that I want to keep here fail spectacularly: Dinny Corocran, Lorcan Fitzgerald, Akinade, Oscar Brennan, Eoin Wearen and Colin McCabe all laugh at the offers put in front of them. At least young Warren O’Hara signs a new contract until 2020. Good lad!



    ……..


    Ins and Outs

    It’s pointless to try and keep players that want to leave. But it’s also good if you can make a few quid of those lads you didn’t want to have for much longer at the club either. That means with the opening of the transfer window on January 1st 2018, there'll be a massive clear-out. For the better of the club and some of the players. That means leaving us are:

    • Steo Donnelly to Yeovil for €150k
    • Adrian Pastuszka to RB Brasil for €110k
    • Rob Cornwell to York for €75k
    • Stephen Best to Bury for €45k
    • Keith Dalton to UDC for €26k
    • Dan Casey to Yeovil, €26k
    • Dan Byrne to Inverness CT for free
    • Fuad Sulle to Oud-Heverlee Leuven, free
    • Keith Ward to Newcastle Jets, free



    The selling of young Steo Donnelly certainly hurts. He’s one with potentially a bright future. But we need the money. However even more hurts the fact that half my backroom teams quit. Though, who can begrudge them?

    Coach Paddy Murray leaves us for a new role at Birmingham. The same goes for Coach Tony O’Connor, who moves to Preston North End. Three of our scouting team get poached too.

    On the other hand, we are able to count on the massive experience of former US international Kasey Keller, who joins as the new goalkeeper coach! A friend of mine, who works in US Soccer facilitated the contact. Keller, without a job lately, was mulling over several other offers, though.

    A personal call at a rather uncivilized time – at least if you live in Europe – seemed to soften Keller’s stance. I told him of the exciting project I have in mind. Not about the financial woes. I told him about our fine keepers. And sang him the Irish song of thousand welcomes.

    Keller doesn’t need money these days. What he needs is a challenge. That’s why he chose Bohemians over some well-paid gigs. At the same time, I am delighted to add a fellow German to my backroom staff - former Wolfsburg keeper Simon Jentzsch joins, also fresh from the dole. A bit a forgotten man in football, the big man with the stylish haircut can train goalies as well as outfield players.







    On the player front we are able to bring in some new faces – even though only on loan, not paying a single cent of their salary: from across the border comes attacking player Ryan Newberry. Once thought to be quite a bit of a talent, his career derailed in 2013, when he was jailed for a 18 months!





    The BBC wrote back then:“Newberry broke a window of a house in the east of the city and chased a Polish man from the property before he and Wilton [accomplice] beat the man on the street last July.”

    Given we have also a convicted rapist in the team, Newberry shall fit in just fine, I guess.


    Spoiler!




    Also joining is flexible forward Dale Hilson from St. Mirren, strong Central Defender Alan Ramsey from Berwick and flexible defensive unit Victor Ekanem from First Division side Cabinteely. Who I hope won’t play a single minute for us, because in truth he can do very little else than shouting at his teammates. But he has two legs and more importantly a left foot. His signing, a loan from a second tier team, shows how desperate our situation really is.


    Spoiler!


    Spoiler!


    Spoiler!




    .......





    And so we're off to get the lads ready for the new season. Pre-seasons means: run, run, run, puke, run again, puke again, run even more, do some push ups..... it's the German school of a fitness regime. Felix Magath, the former Bayern coach, used to build an artificial "hill of pain" to express love for his players in pre-season. I don't need that fancy sort of stuff. All you need to do under my regime is run until you stagger to the ground. Get yourself up and run again. Simple.........
    Last edited by The Porridge Flo; 19-11-17 at 01:57 AM.

  2. #2

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    Great intro mate!

    Will follow this one for sure! Good luck!
    Go check out my YouTube channel with lots of CM 01-02 related video's!

  3. #3

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    Took me ages to work out the club (then obvious from the story header) - as wasn't mentioned until quite far in

    you have a line "best plsayer screens" - screenshots missing?

    Get any compo for backroom staff leaving?

    Players leaving - di you put in any future % fee clauses that could help in future?

    Kasey

    who's the convicted rapist?!

    when taking player screenies can you keep the position on it?

    any pre season games? can you play a bigger club to bring in any income home/away?

  4. #4

    Join Date
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    Thanks for your interest in the story guys!

    @Redknapp: good, was afraid I'd given too much too early away with the title.
    You're right, that screen got lost, thanks for the note, it's included now.
    Couple of thousands compensation if I have it right in mind, yes. A drop in the ocean, in the grand scheme of things. :/
    Ismahil Akinde is the one with this little bit of history.
    Pr-season comes in next update.

  5. #5

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    BOHEMIANS SECURE AGREEMENT WITH ZURICH BANK

    By NEIL O’RIORDAN
    Published: MONDAY 31ST JULY 2017



    Bohemian FC received some welcome good news today when their website announced that an agreement had been reached with Zurich bank in relation to the money which the club is due to repay.

    Key elements to the agreement is that Zurich have agreed to write off €2.3 million of the standing debt. It is believed that the overall debt is as high as €5 million.
    Should Bohs be unable to pay the rest of the debt in time, the bank have pledged not to seek the winding up of the club.

    Speaking on the new agreement, club president Matt Devaney said: “This agreement allows Bohemians to prepare for next season knowing that our largest creditor will not in the short term be seeking payment of the debt to them.”


    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------



    .........



    August 2017


    It came out of nowhere. But we take it. What a relief! For the moment, at least. The overall debt is still high enough and we will need to continue to work hard getting things right on that front. It'll be bread and water for the foreseeable future. But hey, at least something! The agreement helps us to focus on what matters most: football. Players. Goals.


    At the same time progress is made on to players front. Dylan Hayes and Ian Morris sign new deals until 2019. Youngster Daniel Peppard as well as target man Dinny Corcoran extend their stay even further, until 2020.


    ……….


    Where do we stand after pre-season? Good question! Clear is: nothing is clear. Four tests, two disappointing defeats against First division sides, two excellent wins against opposition that’s hard to gauge.




    Fact is: we leak too many goals. I let the team play a 4-1-3-1-1 with attacking wingers from back to front and a deep lying forward, who shall room freely and may wander to the right wing to create an overlap with the winger who acts in support function if we have the ball in the opponents right half of the pitch. I hope this combination opens up space on the left wing where the quick lads in the team may exploit the space.

    This did work more or less okay in the four friendlies. However, I may need to adjust the back line and have the full-backs focus more on the defensive part of their job. To have them march forward aggressively at every opportunity seemed to backfire.

    Dinny Corcoran has been excellent, scoring a handful of goals. Not so effective has been Ismahil Akinade. He seemed still a bit lost in his role as the deep lying striker.

    Glentoran loan Ryan Newberry has stood out in the middle of the park, as has Lorcan Fitzgerald on the left win. Though the big surprise has been 17-year-old Dominic Peppard on the right wing. He showed plenty of promise and played himself into the starting XI.


    In goal it is neck and neck between Supple and young McCabe. Let’s wait and see what Casey Keller ans Simon Jentzsch have to say on this matter.



    …….





    Thursday night, a pub somewhere in Phibsboro, President Matt Devany throwing a round. Tomorrow is Friday night then, football night. Kick-Off to the new season. We’re sitting over a couple of pints, discussing tactics, players and expectations.

    No pressure, says Matt. We all know it’ll be a tough year. Sure, I say. We all know that. Pressure’s always here, right? It’s Bohs after all. The fans, always dreaming, always expecting; Matt agrees.

    Got to stay in this god damn league. F**k the FAI! F****ng cunts! Agreed, Matt. Cunts they’re alright. How you can hope to stay in it if three go down and you pin your hopes on a playmaker that’s not even on the bench at a midtable team in the North??? You don’t… I whisper. But we will! I add quickly.

  6. #6

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    A Bohemian Rhapsody

    Can you post a pic of formation?

    Wib wobbing?

    Some quality Irish names in this team!

    Excuse my ignorance but are you in 2nd division and 1 division above you? (I know feck all about Irish footie)

  7. #7

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    at the newspaper banner

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Redknapp69 View Post
    Can you post a pic of formation?

    Wib wobbing?

    Some quality Irish names in this team!

    Excuse my ignorance but are you in 2nd division and 1 division above you? (I know feck all about Irish footie)
    Hi Redknapp, yes formation on its way, as part of the story, next update.
    No wib/wob tactic. Just my very own trial and most likely more error.
    Some fine talent in the team too, promising, though it's not allot against the better teams in the league. Let's see how that pan out....
    Bohs play in the Premier Division, thankfully never been relegated - yet. Second tier is called First Division.

  9. #9

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    LOI Season 2017/18 Kick-Off




    Match day. I’m nervous. Whenever I’m nervous I feel it in my stomach. Not even the thickest of porridge stays inside. Will I be the one who gets the big club relegated? No more time to waste on those depressing thoughts. Yes we’re an underdog to do anything this year. We have to fight for survival and it won’t be easy. But every games starts at 0-0, so does the season!

    The players are certainly euphoric. And that#s the most important thing. They need to believe. Only with a positive mindset and a functioning dressing room we're gonna be able to damage this season. Some great buzz in the room minutes before we're about to head out to the pitch. First game of the season. At home. At Dalymount, the home of Irish football. Old and shabby, yet if walls could talk they’d tell ya some great craic....


    Finn Harps - one of the relegation favourites alongside ourselves. What a game to get the season under way. A real benchmark for were stand as we have no clue, right now. It can set the scene for an entire season. There is not much talk needed before the game. The players are pumped up anyways. One change compared to the pre-season games: Akinade is benched!

    The tall striker missed a training session during the week. The fact that contract negotiations stalling only adds to the strained situation between club and the talented young man. Loan striker Dale Hilson gets the nod, instead.



    Bohemian FC - Starting XI:






    “Hold Me Know” from Bohs fan Johnny Logan blasts from the speakers inside the ground. The teams run on to the pitch, I follow as one of the last, walk across the pitch to the dugout. A green plastic cabin, plastered with the oversized ads of the main sponsor. A proud moment. Dreamed about it all life. Here it is. Reality. Manager of a Premiership football team. For the club I love and feel so passionate about…..




    …….


    We’re the better team. Dominate from the start. Some nice combinations in midfield, the ball moves well and we get off a couple of shots. It looks nice to the eye, yet without being anything of particular substance In front of a decent crowd for a home opener against an unattractive side as Harps are - 1.650 Gypsies are in Dalyer. Those who came witness how we play hard, run and try…. without threatening.

    Like the schoolboy who really digs deep to solve a difficult math test…. but who ultimately fails. On the other end, Harps do the bare minimum in the first half. Defend deep, hoof the ball.

    At half-time I bring Akinade. Hope his introduction will provide some well needed pace and strengths. Minutes later he misses a big chance. Nice cross from the left, but he heads it wide.

    Less than a quarter of an hour on the clock, Fitzgerald brings the ball into the box, Corcoran can’t quite reach it, the ball is loose, Hilson gets there first, stays composed and converts ice cool!!

    10 minutes later. Again the sensational Lorcan Fitzgerald. 20 meters out, freekick – hammers the ball into the net!! Fitzgerald proves once more why he’s one of the best when it comes to set-pieces in the LOI.

    Harps, up until now incredibly low key, if it comes to making an impression on the attacking front, suddenly push every man forward. They get one back with the final moment in the game – not enough, thankfully. First three points on the board!


    .....



    We follow up with another win – though in the rather unimportant Leinster Senior Cup. 5:2 over Drogheda United. Not worth allot but certainly good for the atmosphere around the club.


    Seemingly the positive start had an equally positive impact on some of the most important contract renewals. First and foremost, Lorcan Fitzgerald. Four rounds of talks ended without a result. Now, Lorcan finally agreed to a new three-year deal. He’s been nothing short of sensational so far, whether in the full back or more attacking winger position on the left side.

    A breakthrough also in negotiations with Ismahil Akinade. After missing a training session, getting benched for the first two competitive games of the new season – albeit having some positive impact being introduced from the bench – seemed to have sorted his head. 2 more years for him at the big club.

    Young Oscar Brennon signs also a new 3 year deal. His composure in the middle of the park has been nothing short but impressive so far.


    ........


    September 2017


    Second game of the league campaign: off to the seaside – Carlisle Ground and Bray Wanderers. The seagulls have – backed by a potent investor – improved their squad in rather dramatic fashion during the off-season. A difficult task for us.

    Former Bohs man Keith Buckley brings the home team in front moments before half-time. Ryan Newberry scores the equalizer in the 73rd minute…. An even game, only for 60 seconds. Aaron Greene tanks himself through an onlooking defence…. It’s the match winning goal.


    Only two days later an away trip all the way down to the south to Cork City. Turner’s Cross isn’t an easy away trip, and City – one of the league favourites - doesn't make a mistake here, stamps authority on a game the bookies have them odds-on to win. Shane Supple does his upmost best to keep us in the game, but it’s a losing fight. 0-1 defeat after 94 minutes.



    One win, then two more or less expected defeats. Time for points: Sligo Rovers make the journey across the island. Our second home game of the season. Rovers started poorly. It’s all downhill for them since they sacked Ian Baraclough a couple of years ago. They’ll be one of those clubs in danger of relegation. Much like us. It’s early season, but this is a “six-pointer”.


    The perfect start: Warren O’Hara gets his heads onto a sharp corner by Fitzgerald. 1:0. Sligo’s level only minutes later. We’re not playing well. A tough halftime-talk later we’ve won ourselves three massive points. Lorcan Fitzgerald – who else?! – with another long range free-kick saves the day! Wasn’t pretty. Doesn’t matter. You don’t stay in the league for playing pretty football.


    Big points on offer again, only one week later. In Drogheda, against a side most likely destined for the drop - we don’t let things slip. Only five minutes played, young Eoghan Morgan, who impressed in the middle of the park last week when starting his first ever LOI game, finishes a nice passing combination. Warren O’Hara, the big lad from the back, finishes it off in the second half with another powerful header after yet another beautiful delivery by Lorcan Fitzgerald!


    Pints afterwards in the Phoenix Bar. Players and fans alike settle for a “quiet one”. Board members join in. Their faces speak volumes. Everyone’s delighted with the excellent start to a season we all were so nervous about.







    A subsequent scoreless draw against top side Limerick is a fine result, however we pay with injuries sustained by Alan Ramsey and even more importantly Lorcan Fitzgerald. Both may miss up to four weeks. Tough luck!


    We’re out of the League Cup as soon as we entered it. A 1-3 defeat in Dundalk means we can’t qualify out of our group, as the reigning LOI champions also win their second game against Galway. We go on to beat the Tribesmen also. But that is of cosmetic nature as only the group winner advances to the next round.


    A home game waits next: already game seven of the league campaign. Time is flying! Derry City is our guest. Last year’s third.

    A first for Dinny. The hardworking striker converts a beautiful pass right into the channel by young Morgan after only 3 minutes on the clock. Another three minutes later: an early shower for Warren O’Harra. He was the last man standing after a quick counter attack by the Candystripes. 84 minutes with ten men vs. Derry. Doomed? Well, not so much….

    Shane Supple saves the day on numerous occasions…. Until Derek Pender heads home after a corner, to get us a two-goal advantage at half-time! We stay composed in the second half. Let the ball be our friend. Instead of defending with everyone behind the ball, we do try to keep it for as long as possible. Your opponent can’t score on you if he doesn’t have the ball. Right?


    It’s massive three points. It’s a massive result for the club. It’s a massive night in front of a season high home crowd. Can we go one better? Or two for the sake of it? Champions Dundalk await next.....



    ......



    October 2017


    A tough away trip it is to county Louth. To play on Dundalk's bouncy castle, called 3G pitch makes in official termonology, is certainly no fun.

    The game is practically done and dusted after four minutes. We concede early, keep the result tight, but never looked like scoring. The champions do the bare minimum. Which is enough. It's how smart teams play. It's how top teams play! Efficient. We're no top team. We run, fight and bite, and sometimes that's good enough. Often enough it's not. A 1-0 defeat it is in Dundalk that looks better on paper than it did in reality.



    More important are points against Galway United. The Tribesmen are deeply involved in the relegation battle. As expected. They could pull us back right into it. There isn’t allot between the two sides during the 90 minutes. United, in fact, is the better side. Yet we have what matters: a deadly striker. Dinny Corcoran with his second of the season at the right time at the right place following a beauty of a cross by Dylan Hayes!


    9 games, five wins, only three games lost – and that against supposedly top sides. If anyone would have offered us that sort of scenario before the start of season…. boy, would I have taken it!


    It’s fair to say we’ve been effective. Only 10 goals scored. We have to do better on that front. Though the joint fewest conceded. Certainly, the issues from pre-season have been fixed. What was leaking goals.







    Without a doubt, Lorcan Fitzgerald has been sensational. Oscar Brennan playing “number six” did also really well. In goal we have a real cat fight. Supple or McCabe? Supple hasn’t signed a new deal yet. That’s why I have given ten years younger McCabe a chance – and he grabbed it with both hands - literally! He also signed a new deal, extending his stay at the big club until 2020.

    Good things happening at Bohemian Football Club. Can the positive trend continue? .....

  10. #10

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    What a mad formation - i'd be expecting you to ship a load with so many pouring forward!

    Great start though

    Bottom 2 look doomed already which is good - did yoiu say 3 go down though? (play off game?)

  11. #11

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    Great start to the story. Enjoyed reading that. Expect for my home town Greystones getting pumped lol!

  12. #12

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    @ Redknapp: We shall see with the goals. Only 10 so far, hope they come soon.... But you're totally right, could hardly have been a better start!
    The last three go down directly, 9th goes into the play-off vs. First Division 2nd/3rd, 11th and 12th aren't in the screen but are thankfully even further behind than surprisingly poorly started Derry.

    @ Shamblane thank you. Glad you like it. I didn't even know Greystones have anything that come near to a LOI team. Afraid they truly make up the numbers in the First Division here in the game.^^





    October 2017




    Two subsequent games on the hard, cold plastic benches of LOI grounds, seems to have sorted Shane Supple out. The experienced keeper finally signs a new 3-year deal! Took months to get to this stage. In the end he had to accept that we simply can’t pay the salary he demanded. He determination to continue to play for Bohs got the better of his greed eventually.

    Now the dilemma, though: who’s number one?

    Supple was superb in six games, before getting benched. Youngster McCabe took over and did a very fine job. Both Jentzsch and Keller are raving about either McCabe and Supple. However both are also firm in their believes that it is the more experienced Shane Supple who is ultimately the best choice at this point in time. I shall follow their advice.


    …………..



    Leinster Senior Cup Ľ Final: A game as useful as diarrhoea. Even more so as the league continues only two days later. We play Bray; the Seagulls, as we do too, field a C-team. On the day we have the tick more quality. A late Ian Morris strike prevents everyone from going into extra-time.


    With all key players well rested, we are able to win a point at Richmond Park against St. Patrick's Athletic: it feels like a win, given that we didn’t deserve anything. Pats were the far superior game. Yet Shane Supple kept us in the game, and another Dinny Corcoran goal was enough to bring home a valuable 1:1 draw.


    At some point you run out of luck. So we did in Ballybofey. Granted, it is the longest trip in irish football, up there to the sparsely populated county Donegal, where Finn Harps play in a ground that does makes shabby Dalymount look like a modern arena. No fun going there. But we were pathetic also. Two penalties and a low work rate sank us. 0:2. A fully deserved defeat.

    A downward spiral? Video analysis the Monday after. “Derek, look at that: HERE! The man is behind you, steels himself away and you don’t even dare to fu***ing look around, let alone go after him?! Zero effort! Izzy: You never score a goal in this god damn league with this primadona attitude. Wake up! You play for a f**king amateur side, not Real Madrid!!!! We run, we fight, we tackle, we keep things simple. You fu***ing understand me??? ”



    .......


    November 2017





    What better way to bounce back than in the only game that really matters if you’re a Bohs man???? THE DERBY! The biggest game in Irish football. Bohemian FC vs. Shamock Rovers.


    A game that polarises. More so in recent years than ever, when Bohs went from top spending side to an all-amateur team, a club on the brink of death. Rovers on the other side, creating their own bit of resurgence, now bathing in money after the memorable Europa League campaign a couple years back - though instead of spending wisely, Rovers remain Rovers: throwing money after every half decent player with two legs, as a result assembling a squad of soulless journeymen year after a year.

    It’s a game that’s raw and ugly but full of passion and fire – it’s what football is all about and everything it isn’t in the big leagues any more.

    Rovers are joint leaders with Pats, after an excellent start to the season. How sweet it would be to stop their run. It’s gonna be difficult. They have the money. They have a team of class acts. Quality we can only dream of.

    Special games warrant special treatment. A change in tactics is likely to be needed. Given we find it difficult to find the back of the neck it is clear that we have to play to our strengths, keeping it scoreless as long as possible. So I order Akinade to stay a bit deeper and form part of formaly flat line in midfield, which, however, if we win the ball, shall swarm out and create as many options as possible which might not all be possible to cover by the opposition.





    Nearly 5.000 pack the sold-out Dalymount on this Friday night. Special atmosphere. As it always is when Derby night is. “We all hate Hoops Scum!!!” Bohs fans let the Rovers players in no uncertain terms know. My first Derby as a manager on the sideline. So it is for most of my backroom staff. These nights you need to enjoy, soak it all in.

    Not for long. Rovers start well. Luke Bryne, once Bohs in younger years, now hated with passion, creates space for himself on the left side in the early minutes. Shane Supple has to be awake. He is. Thankfully. So are the refs. Garry Shaw is suddenly through after ten minutes, and puts it in…. offside!

    Slowly but steadily we do find our way into this game too. We start to get control over the ball more and more. The game drifts into a midfield scrap. That suits us well.
    A game low on highlights in the first half ends scoreless. Or does it???

    47th minute already, the ref has the whistle in his mouth, when Ryan Newberry plays a long ball into the channel. The Rovers defence seemingly with their heads already somewhere else, aren’t switched on. Dinny Corcoran is, though, who has all time and space in the world. Cool as a cucumber he converts!!! Wild scenes at Dalymount Park. The roof nearly blows off! Some fans jump on the pitch. Security is overwhelmed. They always are. Half-time. Deep breath….

    It really isn’t a football delicacy this game. Tough bone on bone tackles are the norm in the second half. This continues to play into our hand, as it means Rovers can't quite find to their technically superior game which would bring us into trouble. Yes, Rovers gets some shots on goal, though usually from far away, so Supple finds it easy to save them.

    Time ticks away. Tension increases. TGarry Shaw and Roberto Lopez are the driving forces behind a late push by Rovers in the final ten minutes of the game. Lopez is it who heads wide after 85 Minutes. What a chance that was!

    Shaw’s long-range hammer only 120 seconds later is brilliantly saved by Supple. And that is it. That’s that! Out!!!

    The ref blows his whistle – Bohs 1; Shamrock Rovers 0. What a feeling. The best feeling in the world! We All Hate Hopes Scum!!! An simply unbelievable result for the Bohemian Football Club. To beat any top in this league means allot. To beat a top team with the name Shamrock Rovers is stuff the wet dreams of any Bohs fan are made of.

    Players and fans celebrate the win together in the stadium bar with a couple of pints. Old stories are told, of the pigs head, the Santry comeback.... and now there is one more story to be to told.



    .........




    We can bring the momentum over to the next week. A hat-trick from Dinny Corcoran sinks Drogheda United. 4-1 – for the first time this season did we score more than two goals in a LOI game. We also extend our unbeaten run at home to seven.


    Two new coaches join the staff: Welshman Rob Edwards as well as Scott Andy Somerville join fresh off the dole.

    Edwards is an interesting character. He is a coach that certainly values fitness. I like that. In our talks he also mentioned his preference for tactical systems in the shape of a 4-5-1. We hit it off instantly, for obvious reasons.

    Regardless, both coaches should really help us to be able to work more individually with players on their strengths and weaknesses as this wasn’t possible up until now.


    So far an issue have been the away games. We lost four out of five. It’s all different in Limerick tonight. A dominant display wins us the game – 3-1; goals by the youngers, 17 year old Dominic Peppard scores twice and is blossoming since switched from the right wing to the middle of the park. Warren O’Harra, also only 18 years of age, heads home for the other goal of the night. His fourth for the season – all after corners!



    ........


    December 2017

    A tough home double-header awaits next: Cork City first, three days later it is then already the classy Bray Wanderers.

    Dinny Corocran has a rare off-day against the Leesiders, misses a couple of sitters. Impossible to get anything from a game against a top side in that case. City isn’t dominant, but more effective. 0-1 in the end.

    Lucky that Dinny has the chance to make amends days later. And he does. His header, following a beautiful cross from the left side, saves the day: 1-1; not a bad result against the favoured Seagulls.


    The loan deal for Dale Hilson ends. He returns to St. Mirren and will move with the opening of the transfer window to Salfrod City in England. Hilson played seven League games for us, scored once and assisted one goal. Victor Ekanem’s loan finishes too – he’s back in the First Division with Cabo. He played in one Cup and one LOI game.


    After two slightly underwhelming performances, it’s time to get back to winning ways. Yes, we are in a good spot at the moment, far away from the dark side of the table. But once the momentum goes against you it can pull you right back into a relegation scrap. We have overachieved so far. So take nothing for granted here.

    The Sligo Rovers are fighting for survival. The trip to the west means we have the chance to separate ourselves further from those clubs who find life tough at the moment. This message didn’t get through to the players. A shocking first half, Rovers are one up. In those moments you can scream and shout, throw water bottles through the room as much as you want. If you don’t have the buy-in from the players, it’s pointless. So I remain in the dugout during half-time, in the hope the lads sort themselves out.

    They do. Young Eoghan Morgan, finishes a nice combination for the equalizer soon after the re-start. Izzy Akinade, hammers one into the back of the net from long range, 60 second later! The game turned on its head. Massive three points!


    This positive momentum carries over. The penny has dropped. The lads are focused, don’t take Galway United lightly. Akinade seemingly freed of the burden of not having scored, finds his name on the score-sheet twice, partner in crime Dinny Corcoran, as well as Ian Morris add to it: 4-1!



    .........



    We have to let go of Eoin Wearen – who did see little to no time this season and an extension of his in December expiring contract to the conditions he demanded seemed not appropriate. Third keeper Greg Murray leaves for Chesterfield. His contract was also expiring and we could not agree on new terms.


    At the same time as the transfer window opens a number of players will leave us, as deals agreemd months in advanced can finally be finalized:

    • Steo Donnelly to Yeovil for €150k
    • Adrian Pastuszka to RB Brasil for €110k
    • Rob Cornwell to York for €75k
    • Stephen Best to Bury for €45k
    • Keith Dalton to UDC for €26k
    • Dan Casey to Yeovil, €26k
    • Dan Byrne to Inverness CT for free
    • Fuad Sulle to Oud-Heverlee Leuven, free
    • Keith Ward; Newcastle Jets, free





    Given so many players leaving and our squad being a bit thin in terms of quality in depth, new legs need to be brought in. No money means no players can be bought. However with an eye on next summer, I target in particular players on the loan market with expiring contracts that might be out of favour at their current clubs but who might have the potential to become regulars at Bohs.

    The loan period is practically a trial. If it works out for both sides, player and club, this could also be a fit for a longer term. I am absolutely delighted to bring in the following bunch of players, especially as we won't pay a single cent of their salary during the loan period:

    • Jack Cudworth from Walsh side Bangor City. A replacement for the leaving Greg Murray. A solid keeper for the number three spot. But with the potential to get the nod confidently when needed.


    Spoiler!


    • Sam McCloskey from Stranraer. An exciting 22 year old for the left side, can both play the defensive as well the more attacking part. Good on the ball and excellent on the first few meters that count for so much. He is one who has no expiring contract, however can add clearly something to the team for the reminder of the season. That says I will try to work through the process with Stranraer to see whether some creative solution can be found to get Sam to stay beyond his loan.



    Spoiler!


    • Vinny Berry comes from Stenhousemuir. He plays the “Nr. 6” role. He’s a passer, but whether the 30 year old has a future beyond his loan, is doubtful. He is a filler we need right now, though.



    Spoiler!


    • Maurice Nugent from league rival Galway United is a different proposition. Only 19 years of age, he does not get game time in the west, however in the Reserve league he stood out at the back with his speed and ability to win duels in the air.



    Spoiler!




    ..........



    Reigning champions Dundalk are on top yet again. Five points to the next best Shamrock Rovers. We played them twice already this year. Lost both. However I feel we’re a different side now. We found our way. And have the aid of some better players. The three loan payers Maurice Nugent, Vinny Berry and Sam McCloskey find their way into the starting eleven. Gives some others, like Oscar Brennan or Ian Morris, a well-deserved rest.

    Nearly 3.000 at Dalymount Park, great atmosphere. We try to keep it tight, give the highly skilled Dundalk attackers little room to play their strengths out. Whenever McEleney, Duffy or Benson go into 1vs1 they’ll soon be swarmed by Bohs players.

    Dundalk is frustrated. The rains lashes down near the end of the first half. A wet pitch. Nearly half-time, Corcoran, from 20 meter takes a shot out of pure lack of opportunities – nobody he can lay off to. Gary Rogers in goal has problems with the slipper ball, can’t catch it properly, there’s Akinade’s long leg that pushes the ball over the line from short range!!!

    It’s the goal of the day. We hold on, defending bravely. It ends Dundalk’s tremendous run of 16 games unbeaten! We move ahead in the table – 3rd now. THIRD!!!



    Last edited by The Porridge Flo; 23-11-17 at 01:16 AM.

  13. #13

    Join Date
    31-07-15
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    Excellent work!!!

  14. #14

    Join Date
    03-03-12
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    28,262
    Heft update there!

    And continuing on the up - especially with recent results

    I felt the passion and emotion in the derby - whta a game to win and fans will be delighted!

    How many times do you play each other in this league?

    Decent signings - the Stanrear kid is th pick for me

  15. #15

    Join Date
    11-03-12
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    5,651
    Good update and loved the derby write up!!

    Did well to let go of a lot of dead weight and get some decent loanees in.

    How do the finances look now?

    How are European spots divided in the league?
    Go check out my YouTube channel with lots of CM 01-02 related video's!

  16. #16

    Join Date
    13-11-17
    Location
    Naas, Ireland
    Posts
    160
    @GFRay: thanks - yes that is an emotional game! Small profit each month right now. Slooooowly bringing this massive debt down. May still be years until we have money to buy players...
    Europe is like this: Champion goes into 1st/2nd Quali Round Champions League. 2nd and 3rd go into 1st quali round Europa League. Depending on the FAI Cup Final, in recent years the 4th made it into EL Quali too, because either Dundalk or Cork won the league/finished runner-up and met in the Cup final.

    @Redknapp: Nothing like Derby nights.... and if you win Dalymount is on fire... literally! McCloskey looks a super signing for zero money on loan... agreed!
    Each team plays each other 3x per season. So there is an odd number of home/away games but that balances itself out over the years.

    @Včrkűh: Thank you!





    January 2018

    Another year finished. 2017 – history. It’s been a rather remarkable year for the club but also for me personally. The club, most importantly, has been able to come to an agreement with the biggest creditor, Zurich Bank. It’s a massive relief for the financially burdened club.

    In contrast, I “only” have left my handsomely paying job at a US software giant to make my dream come true: become a full-time - sparsely paid - football manager. And that at the football club I love so much. Family and friends do start to come to terms with the decision I made. Not all, but most do understand that life for me isn’t always about the big bucks, but also about what drives you as a human being deep down.

    Since taking over the reins, Bohemians have been making giant leaps on the pitch as well off it. Third at the moment…. Crazy, given not too long ago we were one of the favourites to make the brutal journey down to the First Division.


    It all culminates in me receiving the award as manager of the month December! A belated Christmas gift. Also a reward for the backroom team and really everyone working so hard and putting hours into the club out of pure passion and zero financial reward.




    BUT: that’s history. It’s still a fair bit to go in the 2017/18 LOI season. Yes, we’re pretty much save – yet now it is about how far can we go?! Which in turn has no small impact on the future outlook of this football club. To even dare to dream of a European campaign is surly premature. But just to imagine what financial benefit that would have….



    ……….



    To kick-off the new year positively is the idea. As it is often the case with good ideas, they’re not realized. So it happens, as we crash in the North against Derry in their Brandywell home. 0-2 – a result that flattered us.

    Loan player Georgie Poynton has never really settled at Bohs. Only twice found he his way into the team this season. You can’t begrudge him for being unhappy with his situation, given he came from the champions Dundalk. He came to play, not to watch on from the stands.

    However, that is no excuse for unprofessionalism. He’s clearly half-hearted at training and somewhere else with his head. It’s best for both sides to decide enough is enough. Poynton will return to Dundalk right away, the loan deal is terminated. It was a deal that was already in place before I took over anyways. That didn’t make it any easier for Georgie Poynton to play, in fairness.


    However, I can bring in one more signing – a “real one” this time: last week he still played for Derry and did an excellent job in my eyes, though Derry’s management saw it differently – City underperforms dramatically this season and heads are rolling.

    Darren Cole is one of the first heads to roll – a rather prominent head. His contract expires due to Bosman, and the big Central Defender, who played 12 league games this season, has not received an extended invite by the Derry management. I quite can’t believe my luck because Cole is a man I love to bring in. In his situation it is easy to get him to sign a 2.5 year long deal with us that sees him tied to Bohs until June 2020.

    Spoiler!




    A 2-1 over Finn Harps with goals from Akinade and Ian Morris send us into the next round of the FAI Cup.

    Third vs. fourth. Pats vs. Bohs. A game we can’t lose if we want to stay in contention for Europe. Not conceding, that is the most important thing here.
    It’s a shocking game of football. Both sides aware of the importance of the game, take a very cautious approach. Suits us fine. We take the scoreless draw that it ends in.


    Newberry and Peppard send us is into the Leinster Senior Cup final thanks to their goals in the semi-final against Athlone Town.

    I have had the second string turn out that night, because only two days later the much more important Derby in Tallaght looms large on the horizon!


    Rovers in second at the moment, go strong and are the form team. In contrast we aren’t too sure where we stand right now. Do we belong up there or did we simply enjoy a good portion of luck in the first half of the season?

    Well…. So was the thought. It’s Friday, game day, a brief look outside of the window in the morning after waking up gives a clear indication of what happens next: the country comes to an absolute standstill… it’s f**cking snowing!!! Everything is covered in the deep white powder that’s so uncommon here. No chance the Rovers game goes ahead….






    Around the League

    Sligo Rovers sacked manager Gerard Lyttle. Appointed as the saviour: no one less than Ryan Giggs! Rumours doing the rounds for a while, where would the former Man United star get his managerial career under way? Well, he looked across the pond, to the small town on the west coast of Ireland, Sligo!

    No easy task for him to turn things around, as “Bit o’ Red” sits last, 15 points adrift to the relegation play-off spot! Giggs will need to be some sort of a magician in order to instill even the slightest of hope…

    Surprise move by striker John O'Flynn. The 35 year old scored 15 goals this season and is on par with the best in the league, but decides to leave Limerick on a Bosman transfer to move to First Division club Newbridge! Some local newspaper claimed the move was down to a row between O'Flynn and manager Neil McDonald who did not want to offer a new contract for two season for the veteran striker.

    Cup glory for the Hoops: Shamrock Rovers win the League Cup – a 1-0 over First Division third Athlone Town was enough to see the Hoops land the first silverware of the 17/18 season.



    ……..




    February 2018

    A new one-year deal for captain Derek Pender. With 34 years of age he is not getting any younger and he’s not quite performed to the standards of previous seasons – nonetheless his experience is second to none and he remains a key part of this football team.


    Match day 23: we only have to blame ourselves for not driving home with three points from our short trip across the county boarder to Drogheda. Two early Akinade goals seemed to seal the deal…. until young Warren O’Hara knocked Drogs winger Derek Connolly to the ground in our very own box – red card, penalty converted.

    The home team also gets the equalizer minutes later and we were lucky to bring home even the one point in the end.



    Postponed a couple of weeks ago, but here it is, the Derby against Shamrock Rovers in Tallaght! Not quite the same as it is in Dalymount. The Tallagh Stadium, a modern, soulless piece of concrete. A home for the homeless, that isn’t their own and still far away from the spiritual Hoops home in Milltown.






    Rovers are the better team in the first half, hit the crossbar; Supple in goal once more shows all his class. Different story second half. We make some slight adjustments and dominate play. Dinny Corcoran, unfortunately, is in a form slump, hasn’t scored in weeks and missed two massive chances from close range. What if?....

    Well, final moments of the game, one last, rather desperate long ball by a lackluster Rovers side…. Cole underestimates the ball, doesn’t get there in time instead Philip Nolan can take it down with the chest, turns to left and fires it home from inside the box – to win it for the home team!


    A bitter pill to swallow. To lose any game in this manner is gut wrenching. To lose against your hated rival feels like burning from inside. Even more so as we had every chance to bring home the bacon. Applause from the away fans nonetheless, while they sing I wanna go home, I wanna go hoooooome; Tallaght is a shithole, I wanna go home. How right they are. Gotta grab a beer and drown the sorrow.








    ……….


    Winless in four games. We’re clearly lack confidence at the moment. And a lot has to do with the fact that we all – including the backroom team – are simply not sure what we actually can demand. Shall we be happy with what we have got, or should we have the rightful expectations to challenge for better?


    FAI Cup 1/8-Final: An easy 2-0 over First Division side Newbridge gets us an entry in the Quarter-Final Draw, where we’ll have a date with Limerick. What stays from the Newbridge game: Dinny Corcoran. Remains scoreless in ages, and missed a penalty here. I have some harsh words for his performances afterwards. Dinny agrees, he’s been shite – his own words. It can only get better from here…


    Lack of goals, in the league for the whole team an issue. That remains. In one of the worst football games I have ever seen in my lifetime we draw with Finn Harps – 0-0. Both sides managed a combined two shots in 90 minutes. Pathetic!

    Still, we’re a rather fine fifth in the table. And while the recent weeks were slightly disappointing, given we find it difficult to stamp authority on games, it all must be seen in the context of where we’re coming from –destined to be relegated.


    A last-minute monster of a freekick by the master that is Lorcan Fitzgerald secures an unlikely point against Cork City! A fantastic Shane Supple in goal saves the day against the last Sligo Rovers one week later – easy three points? Nope. Another one all draw – one we’re lucky to get a point in the end once again.

    Injuries also add up now: Sam McCloskey will be out for at least two weeks with a toe injury, while Eoghan Morgan will miss also two weeks, suffering a calf strain the other night.


    .....



    March 2018


    FAI Cup 1/4 Final – a 90th minute strike by Ismahil Akinade forces a replay – one that’s decided after five minutes. Dinny Corcoran rams his head into the face of an opponent – red, shortly after Limerick’s Ogbene brings the home team in front. One they’ll never give away.


    Is this the end for Dinny Corcoran? The striker has been dramatically underperforming for weeks now – he netted 9 goals in the first half of the season, however struggled ever since. Tough talking didn’t seem to sort him out. Now a red card – he’ll be missing the rest of the season thanks to a lengthy- and well deserved ban for his stupidity in the Limerick game.


    Two day later, Limerick yet again! This time in the league. Fifth vs. sixth. A Top five finish would be sensational. No excuses today. Can’t let this slip away. We haven’t won in seven league games – in fact no three points, since the massive three points over Dundalk at the end of December – it’s that long ago!

    Slight tweak of our tactical construct: we need more attacking power. Therefore, pushing one of the midfields further up to provide more assistance for the lone striker.
    And that works. Dominic Peppard bags two in the first half, Akinade puts the icing on the cake – 3-0! What a relieve. A dominant display, chances converted – finally some happy faces in the dressing room afterwards.



    ……


    Leinster Senior Cup – 2017/18 Final

    The meaningless Cup…. However, if this is the only silverware you can win you’ll give it your best shot! Bohemians have won the LSC a whopping 32 times in club history. Let’s make it a 33rd time! Only need to beat Dundalk…..


    Easier said than done. The champions appear to be on a “Blitzkrieg” mission early on, rolling attack after attack. Only thanks to keeper Colin McCabe – who started all cup games this season – we survive the onslaught. Until the 39th minute. Then it is Michael Duffy, who converts from a cross for his 30th goal of the season!

    Second half looks better – we start with more energy and can keep Dundalk’s strong midfield at bay. We have more of the ball, without creating anything meaningful, though.
    Passes into the channel for Akinade to run after are rare. So, the strong man has to do it himself…. takes the ball 30 meter outside the box to start one of his trademark runs. Often enough he lacks the end-product, though – not tonight – he punishes pathetic Dundalk defending in this situation, putting it away with a screamer right into the top corner!

    Lilywhites shell-shocked – we’re on to something here…. 88 minutes on the clock, Fitzgerald, as so often in the past, smashes a corner-kick towards the near post, Warren O’Hara jumps and heads it home from close range!!

    And that’s that! Game over! Bohemians win the Leinster Senior Cup!!



    Sure, it’s only the LSC, yet to win some piece of silverware in my very first season as manager at the club…. To hold a trophy up in the air in front of your loyal fan base is sweet, regardless of the importance of the trophy! We celebrate like winning the league.... because one must make hay when the sun shines.... or so.






    .......


    In the light of his excellent performances lately, and the fact that he still offers plenty of upside, I wanted to make sure Izzy Akinade stays at the club long term…. Or we nick a handsome sum for him leaving to another club. His contract still runs until July 2019. Yet we come to an agreement quickly. Izzy is delighted to extend his stay at Bohs until 2022.


    In the league, though, we can't find a rhythm. Only two days after the Leinster Senior Cup Final a home game against Galway United awaits. The second string gets a chance to prove themselves. Mission uncompleted, unfortunately. A shocking game of football, on an equally shocking pitch in Dalymount. 90 minutes of utter shite. No goals.

    A week later, an Akinade goal is not enough as we concede two against Bray Wanderers. Days later in Richmond Park, Pats have the goal of Colin McCabe under constant fire - the young keeper, rewarded for his top performances in the cup games, does a sensational job. We can't create a single meaningful chance to score, it's thanks to McCabe that the games ends scoreless.


    .....



    Great news: Warren O’Hara, who’s been such an integral part of our strong defence in his very first season at senior level, and also keeper Colin McCabe, both are invited to join the Irish Under 21 national team for a friendly against the Czech Republic.


    Week 33 in the LOI - our season starts to fiddle out, particularly after we won the LSC, the players are clearly more relaxed - too relaxed. Can you begrudge them? We can't go down, can't go much further up. Nonetheless, we have to think about our fans. We need the gate receipts to make further progress on lowering the clubs debt. So come on boys, go out there, play your best football, make it a fun game for yourself and the fans!

    We're hosting Derry City - the club needs a little wonder to avoid relegation. A surprise to see a club that was third last season and tipped to compete for the title this year, in this sort of trouble. It also is a stark reminder that things can change rapidly in this league.

    What doesn't change today: the Candystripes are paralysed by their horrible run of form and the prospect of relegating this proud club with a defeat. It's plain sailing for us. It wasn't often in recent weeks - this time we get things right. Not underestimating the opponent, instead the team keeps going even after a two goal half-time lead.

    Akinade, Peppard and Newberry goals help us to a furious 3:0 win - which in turn mean Derry City will play First Division next season!



    ........



    April 2018


    It’s unfortunate, because we really like to keep Sam McCloskey beyond the summer at Bohs. However, he’s got contract with Stranraer and they don’t want to sell him under any circumstance. Sure, money may soften their stance. We can’t pay a transfer fee, though. Some creative offerings of percentages of future sales, or player exchanges aren’t accepted as a solution by the Scottish club.


    Final away game of the season: in Dundalk everything is ready for the big party. Fourth league title on the bounce - no other club has achieved anything similar since introduction of the League of Ireland Premier Division! We don't want to play devils advocate. A one nil defeat for us means the Lilywhites can celebrate their big triumph on home soil - congratulations to Stephen Kenny and his men!


    .......



    One week later a long season with ups and downs but more ups than anything else draw to an end. A derby against Shamrock Rovers at home is very welcome to bolster the finances one more time before the summer break!

    Rovers looked like winning the league for a while but a disastrous March has destroyed all hopes eventually. How sad.... condolences from anyone at Bohemians. Not.

    For mid-April it is a remarkably cold day. 6 degrees. Rain. Still over 4.000 fans flock through the gates. And they won't get disappointed. At least in terms of football quality on offer. Rovers take the lead after only five minutes. A free-kick by former Bohs man Roberto Lopez sails into the net.

    Akinade, only two minutes later, heads home for the equalizer, though! Fantastic atmosphere at Dalyer. We love you Bohs we do!

    Plenty of pace in the game. However, Rovers get more and more of the ball minute by minute. The five-men strong midfield creates problems for us - quick passes find their way often through to create dangerous 1 on 1 situations just outside the box.

    Though it is from a corner, that Rovers, deservedly, take the lead! David Webster gets his head on a precise corner by Ronan Finn. Half-time, we're one down. Can we come back? Unfortunately not. It's one of those rare times when there is a spirited Rovers side on the pitch. If they bring their A-Game it's allways difficult for us. Rovers are simply a better football team. We fight, we run, but to no avail.

    We lose the Derby series 1-2 for this season. Disappointing, yet we can keep our heads high. All three games were incredibly tight, and with better fortune we could have won the game in Tallaght. That's life. Need to move on. Moving on to thank our loyal, fantastic fan base. Standing ovations, despite defeat. This is Bohs. You fight, you leave it all on the pitch, and your effort is appreciated. Bohs - a fan owned football club, where it isn't all about winning, but everything about passion.

    This is the teams effort. I wave for a short moment to the crowd, then march right towards the tunnel. The players deserve all the credit, they shall enjoy some intimate moments with their supporters. Including the obligatory pints in the stadiums Phoenix Bar - fans and players alike enjoy a cool pint of Guinness, or two, or three.... I certainly stopped to count the ones I downed that night. Possibly six, maybe seven? It doesn't make any difference if you wake up with a monster of a hangover!


    .......



    Analysis - Season 2017/2018




    Fifth. WOW. If you lose the last two games of the season you might feel a little bit down, but once it sinks in you can only be proud of the achievement. We managed to beat the odds by a county mile. 5th. Relegation was never really a topic throughout the whole season. Can't ask for more. That the second half of the season was clearly not as strong as the first half is something to address, yet overall is what matters. And overall the result is fantastic!


    The Good:
    • One of the best home teams of the entire league: lost only two games all year- and conceded the least goals of the entire league (8) at Dalymount.
    • Joint-third highest average home attendance: 2.300.
    • Only 27 goals conceded overall - second least of the entire league.
    • Defensive duo Waren O'Hara and Alan Ramsey team up for the highest pass completion and Tackling/Game rate in the LOI.
    • 10 Goals in all competitions in 2018 for Ismahil Akinade.


    The bad:
    • Only 39 goals scored - third fewest in the league.
    • Eight defeats away from home.
    • Only 2 league wins in 2018.
    • Only four (regular) players with Average Rating > 7.00 in league.
    • Zero goals for Dinny Corcoran in 2018.



    Player Stats - All Competitions:

    Spoiler!



    Finances 2017/18

    Spoiler!




    ...........



    Around the League


    FAI Cup Final: a minuscule crowd at Lansdowne Road witnesses a procession by Galway United. The Tribesmen slaughter Limerick FC, win their only second FAI Cup, thanks to this 4-0 wins!

    Shelbourne becomes First Division champion and wins direct promotion to play top flight football next season again. The runner-up Athone Town (note: in reality this club was badly involved in a betting scandal thanks do a dodgy investor and dodgy Latvians playing for the club brought in by dodgy a dodgy manager) fell short at the last hurdle - in the Play-Off against Drogheda United, the 9th placed from the Premier Division, a 2-0 win in the first leg for the Drogs was enough to see them save the season; Athlone won the return leg 1-0, which was not enough.


    Premier Division Team of the Season 17/18:

    Great honour and reward for a strong season: keeper Shane Supple has been included in team of the year squad as the number one keeper!

    Last edited by The Porridge Flo; 23-11-17 at 01:14 AM.

  17. #17

    Join Date
    13-11-17
    Location
    Naas, Ireland
    Posts
    160
    Bohemian FC - Season 2018/2019




    First season at the helm of the big club was a success. Personally, I learned so much if it comes to people management as well as the game I thought I knew so well, yet I had to learn, I clearly did not. From tactics and training to nutrition – there is so much more to the game at this level than just pushing some player names from left to right on a computer screen.

    Last season was all about staying in the league and to lower the massive debt this club is facing. Boxes ticked. Mission accomplished. Still, Bohs are a long way off being a good football team on the pitch as well as a healthy club off the pitch.

    How do we go on from here? How do we grow as a club? How do we make Bohemians great again?

    Focus on our strengths! Continue to development the youngsters. Build a strong core group of players. The future of the team is already here, with the likes of Eoghan Mongan, Ismahil Akinade, Dominic Peppard, Waren O’Hara and Colin McCabe….



    The board and I we’re fully aligned if it comes to expectations and objectives for the near future of this football club: the next two years have to be fully committed to the rebuild. The objective, though, to become near debt free over this period of time, continue to fast-rack the development of our youngsters and bring in quality players on a budget - if the possibly arises - in order to improve the output on the field at the same time.

    Season 2020/21 we do target to mount a real challenge for the title - then for the first time in a good decade. This sounds ambitious. Without ambition, though, you stay small. We want to operate on the basis of a growth mindset. This club has too much tradition, too much untapped potential, to think small. Bohs are called the “big club” – for a reason.



    The here and now is the summer of 2018. Minimum expectation is to stay in the league. This should be easier than last year, given the reduced number of teams in the league: from 12 to 10. Relegation would be a disaster. Anything better than that is considered the cherry on the cake once again, though.

    While last season, we were all about a strong defensive setup, limiting chances for the opponent in order to have a chance to get something out of every single game - I don’t want to continue to bore our loyal supporters with backwards football. Yes, it helped us to stay in the league and finish a respectable fifth last season – but in honesty, it looked horrible, was no fun to watch Bohs play at all.

    My idea of football is a fast, direct game, that surprises and overwhelms the opponent. For that you need quality. Last season we made best use of the material on offer. So, during the off-season the focus is on bringing in a bit more football IQ and quality on the ball. Of course it can’t cost any money…. A bit like working yourself through the discounted items shelves at Lidl.



    Players In – Players Out

    Not returning are Nugent (Galway), Berry (Stenhousmuir) and Newberry (Glentoran). Their loans end, we thank them for their services – particularly Newberry was a solid choice in midfield, either on the wings or in the middle of the park, played 26 times in all competitions for us and scored 4 goals plus 2 assists.

    Also not extended beyond his expiring contract is veteran Paddy Kavanagh. The right winger didn’t feature often last season and is past his sell-by date. It’s a low-key farewell for a player who did great things for this club over the last five years. All the best for the future Paddy!

    Right winger Dean Casey leaves for Cork City. We cash in on €200k. Good money for a player who on one hand is still young and offers upside, however who has shown nothing last season to believe he can fulfill his potential anytime soon.

    However, we bring two familiar faces from last season back: keeper Jack Cudworth (GK) joins us as from Bangor City, so does defender Alan Ramsay (DC) – Jack is a fine backup in goal, whereas Alan has been an integral part of the back four last year. Both join on a Bosman transfer and are inexpensive additions; plus we do know what we get from them since they were already on loan with us last season.


    Spoiler!





    That is only the beginning of efforts to strengthen the team. In fact, an overhaul of the squad is in full flight.

    Bosman allows us to bring in some decent signings for zero money – that says, we have to settle for “dead wood” from lower league clubs in England and Scotland – lads that come to us for their last chance in football. They all haven’t been featuring prominently in their respective clubs last season and none has received new contract offers - however I feel a change of scenery might help some of the guys to find back to their best:


    • Jack Gallagher, 25, M C – Aldershot

    Spoiler!



    • Chris Lines, 32, M C – Bristol Rovers

    Spoiler!



    • Junior Brown, 29, AM L – Shrewsbury

    Spoiler!



    • Steven Swinglehurst, 25, D LC – Annan

    Spoiler!



    • Paul Sludden, 27, SC – East Stirlingshire

    Spoiler!



    • Alex Kenyon, 25, DM C – Morecambe

    Spoiler!



    • Alex Nicholls, 30, F RLC – Barnet

    Spoiler!



    • Uche Ikpeazu, 23, S C – Cambridge

    Spoiler!



    I also spread my wings across the own island. Particularly in the First Division you can find gems who desperately try to find a way out of the league of death!

    That offers us the chance to sign Conor Kenna - despite his age, he can still do a job on Premier Division level I feel. His experience may come in handy at some point. The former Pats championship captain has been for many years one of the best central defenders around. However at Waterford United they don’t need his services any longer – the club, that started last year as top favourite, ended in 3rd eventually and missed promotion, is after a fresh start.

    Spoiler!



    From Cobh Ramblers we bring in young right winger Ryan O’Regan. The 19-year-old is quick, good on the ball and hopefully one for the future. It surprises me that he did not get any chance to show his potential at Ramblers. The few games in the Reserve our scouts went to see him, he returned impressed.

    Spoiler!



    On loan from Dover we can get talented right-back Josh Passley from Dover to commit to one full season at Bohs – we’re not paying a single cent of his salary.

    Spoiler!




    Of course not everyone in the club and particularly among the fan base is happy with me bringing in all those unknown players from across the channel. A prominent thread titled “JOURNEYMEN” on the TheBohs.ie forum gathers a bit of momentum. I shall not rate their opinion too highly, in the end. I’m the manager, and I have to do what is best for this football club: to sign players that help the football club to get better.



    .......



    August 2018


    A bomb: Trevor Croly has been an integral part of my backroom team. He’s been my right hand. The one who’s leading most of the technical football sessions in training. The former Rovers and Bray manager always has been a brilliant coach.

    However, he wants to give it one more shot in management. It comes out of nowhere, nonetheless well-deserved and I am happy for him on a personal level: Croly will take over the vacant manager role at Northern Irish Premier Division club Cliftonville with immediate effect. Good luck!

    Comes in Shaun Fagan as new coach. The 34-year-old former one time Scottish U21 player, has just finished his playing career and now looks for his first coaching job. Here at Bohs I am happy to offer him this chance. He won’t have any problems finding his way in Ireland given Shaun used to play for Galway United a good decade ago.


    ………



    Besides the obvious: plenty new faces have to be integrated – pre-season goes remarkably smoothly. Everyone’s focused in training, nobody gets badly hurt, and slowly but steadily the team starts to get my ideas in terms of game plan – in order to score more goals this year without compromising the defensive part too much, I want us to control more of the ball throughout a game. We shall seek quality opportunities instead of cheap shots.

    So, the team has to go through endless drills where passing and quick thinking is required. Dedicated tactic sessions and video analysis of all pre-season games clearly struck a chord with the group. Week after week it looks better.



    A first test against Tralee is lost, but that’s okay. A pipe opener, so many new players, new formation, heavy legs from all the running in training…. We make things better in the other three games, don’t concede a single goal and fly through the final test against league rival Pats….







    There’s clearly a bit of euphoria and hope after pre-season and before the start of the new league campaign. Yes, avoiding relegation remains the main objective. However, here’s hoping we have added enough quality to do a bit better than that. The squad is – on paper at least - a much stronger one than last year. How this translates into points? Remains to be seen....

  18. #18

    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
    Posts
    686
    Curious to see that new formation!

  19. #19

    Join Date
    13-11-17
    Location
    Naas, Ireland
    Posts
    160
    August 2018






    Dear members and fellow supporters,

    As a club, we have overcome great hurdles over the past decade. As we all know, the effect of the property crash and economic downturn came close to putting us out of business.

    After a number of tough seasons where members and supporters dug deep on numerous occasions to keep the show on the road, we collectively saved our club, reduced our multi-million euro debt to a manageable amount and have secured Dalymount Park as our home for future generations.

    Thanks to the endeavours of our members and a small but dedicated body of volunteers, we have every reason to be optimistic about our long-term future.

    However, the financial situation remains difficult and presents our club a continued challenge. Despite the constraints of prudence, Florian Christoph and his team have continued to punch above their weight over the past season.

    To give Florian the best possible chance at continuing that, we, as a group of members and supporters, are establishing a fans’ fund to supplement the playing budget. With the transfer window opening soon, our players will be easy targets for richer clubs.

    Therefore we ask those who feel they are in a position to donate to give what they can and as soon as possible to maximise the fund’s potential in order to help us keep our football team together, reduce the debt and provide Florian and his team with means to strengthen the squad in the future.

    You can donate to this fund: Online through the payment option on playerfund.bohemians.ie

    • Choose amount @ PayPal
    • Bank transfer or lodgement (BIC: AIBKIE2D. IBAN: IE02AIBK93220503439012. Please include name and reference.)
    • In person at Dalymount Park during normal office hours.
    • In person at our home opener v Drogheda United on August 10th.


    Thank you,
    Matt Devaney




    ……..


    Given our excellent last season, the promise our youngsters have shown and generally the positive momentum behind the club, collectively we all in the club felt it is a good idea to raise fresh money, so we can continue what we started to build. To rip this team apart now that we start to have a bit of success, and other clubs are sniffing around the likes of Peppard, McCabe or Akinade, we need to combat this.

    It remains to be seen how much money our loyal fan base will be able to donate – however the fund is open for the next couple of weeks.



    .......



    Final training session before the start of the season – Shane Supple jumps to grab a high ball out of the air, lands awkwardly…. His face tells its own story. Thankfully, the result isn’t as bad as initially thought. Only a sprained ankle. He’s out for three to four weeks.

    That means young Colin McCabe has the chance to stamp authority on the number one spot in goal. It’s been a close fight and I wasn’t sure who’d get the nod. Well, fate decided.


    For the opener, at home against Drogheda United, seven of the new signings will be in the starting eleven. That’s not to say it will remain like that over the course of the season. Those boys who helped us finish fifth last season still have an important part to play. Though everyone started at zero heading into pre-season. Those who impressed, got the nod.

    It’s been tough to tell Izzy Akinade that his place is on the bench. He finished last season strongly and deserves to start. However new signing Uche Ikpeazu really has put down a marker in pre-season and therefore earned my trust – for the moment.





    …..



    A crowd of nearly 2.000 fans at Dalymount – decent for a home opener vs. Drogs. They see the first goal of the new season after only nine minutes: a beautiful combination in midfield between Gallagher, Peppard and Uche Ikpeazu sees the powerful forward suddenly with a bit of space inside the box. Ikpeazu doesn’t take long to fire home for the early lead!

    The 23-year-old could have hardly have a better debut for his new club, as ten minutes later he gets his head on to a beautiful Peppard cross to net his second on the night!

    It’s not like Drogs aren’t getting chances either. In fact, we’re a little bit too laid back in the second half. Thankfully McCabe has a fantastic day and keeps a clean sheet due to some spectacular saves.

    The icing on the cake is Eoghan Mongan’s goal seconds before the end of the game, as he converts from a Fitzgerald corner to give us a wonderful 3-0 opening win!


    The LUAS Derby in Junkyland vs. St. Pats at Richmond Park. One of those games I really feel for our great away support. The terrace behind one of the goals where away fans are jammed together is one of the worst places to watch a football match from. Viewing is better listening on the radio….

    But the over 700 Bohsmen- and women, will be rewarded. Ikpeazu scores twice, within 60 seconds, in the 21st and 22nd minute. A pass into the channel by the sensational Peppard, Ikpeazu is simply too quick and ice cool in front of goal. Nearly right from the re-start, a long cross from the half-field by young O’Regan lands precisely on Ikpeazu’s head. 2-0…. Seconds later he limps off field. A twisted knee ends his day and we’ll lose him for at least three weeks.

    But who cares if you have an Ismahil Akinade? Shortly before half-time the tall striker converts from close range for a 3-0 half-time lead! Pats push every man forward and come several times desperately close to get one back… however once more McCabe in goal appears to be near super-human!


    …….



    Only two days later – the FAI has done a fantastic job putting the fixture list together, as they always do – it’s second vs. third. We host last year’s champions Dundalk. A concrete benchmark of how real the first two games were.

    Not so real, it appears. Only two minutes played, a Neill Harney free-kick from a long way out sails over everyone’s head and past McCabe’s hands into the net.

    Ten Minutes later Alex O’Nicholls storms through on the right-hand side, sharp ball to the near post, Akinade’s gets a toe to it to push the ball over the line!

    Again, only ten minutes later, Dundalk captain Stephen O’Donnell doesn’t get any younger, however he still got it. From 20 meters out, he hammers the ball towards the right corner…. McCabe stretches….. but doesn’t get there!

    Dundalk plays in eco-mode from there on. We have the ball, control the game, but what does it matter if you can’t create chances?

    Nonetheless we stick to the game plan….. unfortunately that doesn’t really pay off. But we won’t give up until the game is over. Final corner of the game, as always Lorcan Fitzgerald, delivers on to the middle of the box, with plenty of power Conor Kenna jumps out of the pack, a powerful header towards goal….. and scores! Equalizer!!!!!

    A point won. Not totally undeserved. It’s obvious, even after only three games, we’re a different team this season. One that is more mature. One that is able to score goals. One that plays reasonably attractive football.


    Shane Supple is back in training. A difficult decision beckons. Last season’s LOI keeper of the year would play in any other team in the league. How could I tell young McCabe after three sensational performances that he’s got to sit on the bench again? I don’t. The 21-year-old is the future. A future that has arrived early. An under-21 international, McCabe deserves to stay in goal. Not easy to convey this message to Shane Supple – who, thankfully, is understanding and accepts the decision without any grudge.



    Defending the Leinster Senior League crown isn’t really high on the agenda, though if you kick it off against Shamrock Rovers, you wanna win, regardless. It’s a chance for those players who haven’t seen much game time so far, to prove they earn a spot in the team.

    Paul Sludden, who came in the summer from Scottish side East Stirlingshire, seems to understand and heads the lead minutes before half-time. A derby without drama isn’t a derby though: Rovers equalize deep into injury time, forcing extra-time.

    Two more goals fall in the next thirty minutes – Rovers take the lead, young Mongan equalizes – penalties required.

    Oscar Brennan misses the first tone, Sludden, Nicholls, Lines, Morgen stay cool and convert. Darren Meenan misses one in between – overtime also in the penalty shootout! That’s the moment when keeper Jack Cudworth becomes the hero of the day: grabs the ball and hammers one home from the spot himself, and subsequently saves the next one from Rovers defender Sean Heaney!!


    The same game again only seven days later – then in the league – but before that a home game against Bray Wanderers, only two days after the LSC match.

    The core group, fresh and fit, rolls over the Seagulls in impressive manner. We control the game, over 60% possession throughout the game Ramsay and Chris Lines with the goals – a 2-1 success that was much more comfortable than the tight result says.







    ......



    September 2018


    SO, unbeaten, in 2nd position, with confidence and positive energy do we travel into the Derby away to Rovers. We haven’t won in Tallaght for quite some time now – it’s years, in fact! Also last season, two defeats, albeit close games. Can we do better this season?

    Rovers in 4th at the moment, however only three games played due to Europa League commitments. Two wins, one draw – as the Hoops have lost three key players over the summer, including talented Graham Burke to Aston Villa, I feel we’re much closer to them then only a few month ago.


    Perfect start: beautiful delivery by Morgan who plays a sharp pass along the ground right into the channel where Ryan O’Regan started in the right moment, stays subsequently cool enough to chip the ball over the Rovers keeper Tomer Chencinski – who used to play a couple of games for the Finnish side Santa Claus back in the day – for the lead!

    Not for long. It’s a rare moment when Colin McCabe doesn’t look all that good – but the shot from Philip Nolan from a sharp angle he may have saved on a better day.

    Open game from there on. Without too many clear-cut chances. It’s a scrap. As it often is in these derbies. Not that I’m unhappy with a point. Just don’t lose in Tallaght. A last long ball, cleared easily. The referee has seen enough. And we go home rather happy; still unbeaten.


    First game back in the side for Uche Ikpeazu since his injury against Shelbourne; it only takes him 27 minutes to bang one in – his fifth goal! Junior Brown with his first for us only minutes later – game over.

    The 2-0 win over Shels means the Bohemians is top the league! A momentous moment for this football club. One we have waited so long for. Back in the game. On and off the pitch. The big clubs is the big club again….


    Let’s not get carried away. Six games into the season. Nobody has won anything ever at this time of the year. Important to stay grounded. Yes, it seems rather obvious that we won’t need to fear relegation. In fact we might be on to something much better. But let’s keep working. Stay true to our values. Run, fight and defend hard. That’s my message to the boys right after the game.








    ……..



    A last-second equalizer conceded at home versus Galway United feels like a defeat. However there’s little time to think too much about it - we have to travel the long way down to the south coast to meet last season’s runner-up Cork City:

    Julien Peppard with his first of the year brings us early on in front. Uche Ikpeazu increases the lead before half-time. City comes starts the second half with fire in their mouth. McCabe, does a super job once more, though has no chance when Garan Manley hammers a free-kick into the net from the edge of the box.

    Nervous minutes. Cork, pushed forward by the excellent home support, drives attack after attack. Last minute of injury time, Greg Bolger receives the ball a good twenty meters out, has a bit of space and fires towards top-left corner…. McCabe stretches….. gets a finger or two just on the ball to deflect it over the bar!

    And then it’s over. An almighty success against an absolute top side!



    .......



    October 2018


    The excellent run in the league continues: Junior Brown with his first of the season in a Bohs jersey, and two more goals for the once more sensational Uche Ikpeazu help us to a decisive 3-0 victory over the last Limerick.

    Goals by Ramsey and Brown secure three points in the Northside Derby with newly promoted Shelbourne, at Tolka Park. It's certainly good to see a club with so much history back where they belong.

    On the other hand we’re out of the League Cup as soon as it started. Similar story as last year: in a group with Dundalk. The champions go through, beat by a single goal in the decider.


    Top of the pops clash: Dundalk, currently second, beat Cork during the week, has a game in hand and is only 2pts back now. However, their tough schedule means we might catch them at the best possible time.

    Says, the Lilywhites boost a tremendously deep squad – as you would expect for a club that’s on a five-timer in terms of winning the league!


    Proves a task that comes too early for us. Duffy and Benson goals in the first half set the scene. Only a single scoring chance for us – not good enough. Means the run of unbeaten games comes to an end. Not the end of the world.



    This defeat sees us dive into a bit of a form slump. The boys, clearly effected by this first negative experience, are hard to get by with words. We crash out of the Leinster Senior Cup in Bray, subsequently lose a game we should never lose in the league at Drogheda – a 0-1 defeat, that does hurt more than the LSC one. It’s the second on the bounce.



    .....



    I’m not sure what the problem is. Mental? Three defeats on the bounce. President Matt Devaney keeps suggesting the usual cure: drinking. Usually I resist those well-meant suggestions. I love Ireland. What I don’t love is the drinking culture. It’s an event to go out and get hammered…..


    Another lacklustre training session on Tuesday. What the fu**k? Three days before a derby. Something’s gonna happen. I give Matt a call, turn on the tabs, mate!
    Pints after pint… can’t remember how I got home. My head…. Jesus… what I can vividly remember: how our Scots Ramsey, Sludden and Cole danced a Scottish folk dance on the table at two am…. Naked!!!



    A solid 5.000 strong crowd packs Dalymount for the Derby against Shamrock Rovers. It’s also 3rd vs. 4th. A game that will show the direction we gonna go next. Nicholls gets the start on the left wing. Brown was shite lately. Warren O’Hara, gets the nod beside Ramsey in central defence.

    We look like a different side early in the game. Full throttle, Nicholls and Fitzgerald in particular put the left side of Rovers around Simon Madden and Darren Meenan under allot of pressure.

    15 minutes on the clock, these two with a nice combination, Fitzgerald on the edge of the box, brings the ball sharp into the box, Ikpeazu, who hasn’t score for three weeks, uses his body mass to control the ball, turns to the right and fires home…. For the lead!!

    Wild scenes! But composure my friends, I remind from the side of the pitch. We control Rovers for most parts of the first half. McCabe doesn’t have a difficult job…. Yet. Changes in the second half. Rovers apply a lot of pressure. They look in particular for strong target man James Collins. He’s get a couple of shots and heads away. Thankfully McCabe, after two slightly sub par performances, by his own standard, is wide awake today!

    A rare counter-attack in the 65th minute. Again the sensational Lorcan Fitzgerald on his left side… but his cross blocked. Corner. Fitz’ himself brings the ball high, O’ Hara jumps and heads home!!!

    We survive the expected onslaught from an angry Rover side – 2-0 win; and what an important one?! Staying right in the mix up there in the table with the best. Beating a direct opponent, which at the same time is the one club you hate with the bottom of your heart. Hold me now, warm my heart; Stay with me, let loving start….









    ........



    November 2018

    The derby success gives wings… a 2-1 over Galway United thanks to two Ikpeazu goals, followed up with a win over St. Pats – a tremendous Lorcan Fitzgerald free-kick the goal of the day. Only few fays later a tough trip to windy Carlisle Ground on the seaside of Bray – no easy conditions to play, we’re happy enough with the point we bring home.








    ......



    Are they taking the piss? I’m thinking loud. Bristol City, mid-table in the League One, bids for Dominic Peppard – our 18 year old youngster, who came through the ranks at Bohs and has been part of 48 competitive games over the last two seasons.

    He’s the future… we don’t sell our future. Least, if we’re insulted. Bristol offers €60k. Laughable. Dominic doesn’t want to leave either. He loves life at Bohs. And why wouldn't he? Plays regularly. Trusted by his manager. He's so young. So much to learn. In his age you need to play. Play against men. That's where you learn the most from. Not if you waste away in the youth development leagues of English football, getting a loan deal with some other lower league club, if you're lucky.

    Spoiler!




    ......


    A game of some importance: hosting Cork City, third right now – the Rebels have a game in hand though, and are keen to close to gab. Defeat will bring this one down to a mere three points – on the other hand a big chance to give us a bit of breathing space before the long winter kicks really in.

    Unfortunately Cork’s young keeper Evan Moran plays the game of his life. The 21-year-old is in his first season and had some tough experiences so far, but does a near super-human job on this night. He’s got an answer to everything we throw at him.

    City, in contrast, needs a single chance to win the match. Dylan Cashin’s goal from the 13th minute is the only that helps the away side to an important win.


    If there were any crazy dreams of Bohs challenging for the title – another defeat, 2-1 at home against Dundalk, a red card for Conor Kenna seals the deal, means the champions stretching away and we have to look at those teams behind us. They’re breathing down our neck.



    ......



    December 2018


    Time for some moves on the players front. The transfer window opens and I’m delighted to bring in the lightning fast Jack Paxman. Worked for nearly a year to get the 24-year-old to sign a contract. Finally it has worked. Ideally we would have brought him some months earlier, but the breakthrough in negotiations came simply too late.

    He’s an interesting player from that of point of view that he has a bit of international football, or shall we say 'soccer', under his belt. For a couple of months he played in the US, but it didn't work out. Paxman returned, but had been out of contract since summer when National League club Maidstone did not offer him a new contract.

    Spoiler!



    It’s a good bye and all the best to Philly Gannon. The young midfielder didn’t play a role in my plans at all – Australian side Burnie United wants to bring him to the other side of the world and is willing to €120k.


    New signing Paxman starts on the left wing, but even his liveliness isn't enough to get us over the line - only scoreless draw against Shelbourne. At least a point though - a subsequent 1-2 defeat against the last Limerick is much more painful, because it's also the fifth game in a row without a win. Worse, Limerick is the whipping boy of the league, only won a single game in 19 attempts before this clash with us - what is an anti-climax to what has been a wonderful season so far.


    Concerns on board level. Questions are suddenly asked. As you would expect at a club like Bohs. You have a bit of success and expectations go through the roof…. I have to live with it, but particularly we as the coaching team have to shield the players from all the outside noise. Focus on the next game, the last for the year. A win against Drogheda United could do a lot for our mental state.

    I make a change in goal: Colin McCabe, as sensational he was early in the season, has been clearly impacted by the slump of form lately. He’s been shacky. So Shane Supple will put on the gloves.

    Scoreless after 45 minutes. A poor game and performance. It’s a bit louder than usual at the half-time talk. It seemingly helped. A bit of conviction as a consequence, Dominic Peppard in combination with Ikpeazu – 1-0. Minuts later the same too, just the other way around. Ikpeazu with a nice pass into the channel and Peppard stays cool alone in front of the keeper.

    The icing on the cake is the third on the night, again Ikpeazu. 3-0. A firework in the second half, badly needed. Relief all-around.








    ……








    Bohs fans are the best in the world. It’s as simple as that! The players fund, introduced some months ago, has been officially closed. Nobody in the club knew whether this would be an effective way to lessen the financial burden the club has to carry due to historical debts. The result surpasses all the hopes one could have realistically have. Nobody in the club can belief what sheer massive sum has come together.

    €1.2 Million.


    Got to sit down. This is massive. Slowly but steadily it sinks in...... debt free!!!! Green. Bohemian Football club is for the first time in more than a decade completely debt free! No money owned to creditors. All paid off. In fact, so much money has been donated, with the steady stream of income from positive gate recipes, we even have some pennies left over to invest in to legs, if desired!

  20. #20

    Join Date
    13-11-17
    Location
    Naas, Ireland
    Posts
    160
    January 2019




    Right-back Josh Passley, who is only on loan from Dover, does a reasonable job for us. In fact he is probably one of the better right-backs in the league. So it is no surprise that other clubs might be interested to sign up the 24 year-old.

    Josh himself is a fine person too. One morning he comes to my office. His honesty is certainly appreciated. He says: Rovers want him. Now. They pay 100 grand to Dover. They over a long-term deal!

    He wants to stay. But the offer is too good to refuse. Football is his profession, after all. Okay I say, listen Josh, let me speak to Dover. We won’t let you go. Not to the scum!
    We send a counter offer over to the National League side. We can’t pay €100k. We offer €60k + €40k after 30 league games. For Dover it doesn’t matter. They’re fine either way. For Josh the decision is a no-brainer. He signs a deal that keeps him until summer 2021 at Dalymount Park!


    Spoiler!


    ......



    Not once but twice within less than a week – Bray Wanderers guest in Dalymount. Ramsey and Sludden goals hep us to advance into the next round of the FAI Cup. Less good fortunes in the league game: we fire 16 shots on Brian Kane’s goal, but one Ramsey goal from a set-piece isn’t enough – Keith Buckly, a Bohs man by heart, but plays in the green jersey, with the death blow with only minutes to go. Painful.



    The final derby away in Tallaght for this season – Shamrock Rovers only in fifth, once more a rather disappointing stretch of performances over the dark months have seen the Hoops even fall outside of a European spot.

    We set up for not conceding. Two defensive midfielders this time. Only one slightly more attacking midfielder in assistance of the wingers and lone striker Ikpeazu. We want to limit chances and hope for a bit of luck throughout the 90 minutes.

    With this mindset the game evolves into one side can’t the other doesn’t want to – it’s a horrible game. Little good happens. Both keeper are seen to jump up and down, stretch and throw their arms around in order to stay warm. They are simply not needed. Consequently the game ends scoreless.



    It starts to get tight for Galway United. The Tribesmen started well, now they fight for survival. A anxious opponent is what we need at this point in time. 3 points are desperately needed not only on United’s end, but also ours.

    Thankfully it’s a good day. Peppard with a beauty of a goal, curls the ball into the net from just outside the box. Ikpeazu adds to the scoreboard. His 15th goal of the season. Enough to keep the points at home in the end.



    ....



    February 2019

    2nd Round FAI Cup, a must win against the last of the First Division, Waterford United. The Blues have taken a remarkable turn to the worse, from 3rd and unlucky when missing out on promotion last season, to rock bottom this time around.

    It’s not a particularly nice game, though Sludden and Nicholls goals are enough to see us through to the Ľ Finals, where we then face the champions Dundalk.



    Given the current situation, a game against Cork City, the club that’s breathing down our neck, is mightily important. So you wanna give yourself the best possible chance, keeping the game tight for as long as possible, particularly as the underdog in a sold out Turner’s Cross.

    Plan screwed after less than 10 minutes. Gearóid Morrissey heads City in front; minutes later Junior Brown is the last man who tries to catch Dylan Cashin…. In vain. His tackle from behind is badly times. In sum an early shower. All downhill from here. A bad, bad defeat.

    Down to 4th. Bray and Cork finally caught up.


    .....


    As if reassurance is needed if you’re the leading goal getter of the team – Uche Ikpeazu, is a slightly insecure young man, despite his impressive physical attributes. Coach, do you plan with me next year? Uche of course I do! You’ve got contract and you do a wonderful job! 15 goals dude; you're one of the best in this league. Keep working, and good things will happen. Thanks coach. I wanna do well for Bohs 'cause I wanna play for Man United one day.... Keep dreaming Uche, is on my lips. But I won't shatter this young mans dreams.

    He is quite clearly the best of all the signings we made during the summer. And while the Premier League appears one or two steps too far, a decent League One or Championship club might take a chance on him sooner or later...


    .....



    Must win games against last and second last. The defeat against Limerick eight weeks ago still hurts. Let’s not make the same mistake twice. We don’t. Ikpeazu and Peppard drag the rest of the team over the line.

    A combined effort by Akinade and Ikpeazu brings Drogheda United to its knees. Despite signing some fine talent during the winter transfer window, Drogs keep struggling. For us it’s win number three out of the last five games. Clearly an upward trend.









    ....



    March 2019


    Double header vs. Dundalk FC. First the Quarter-Final of the FAI Cup. It’s the 10-year anniversary of Bohs winning the Cup for the last time. Who does not remember the wonderful scenes in the RDS? Mindaugas Kalonas with the decisive penalty, Barry Murphy the super keeper…. This where the club needs to get back to. Can we make it happen this year?






    Well, no - not this year. Dundalkd pulverizes us in the first fifteen minutes. The first, the second, the third…. Three down so early. That’s that. Or is it? Still plenty of time. Nicholls gets one back before half-time. Sludden brings the deficit down to a single goal soon after the restart. It’s a dog fight from there on. But we don’t have the luck you sometimes require in those games. Hit the post and crossbar….

    I have to take the blame. We we’re too open early on. The setup was all wrong. Dundalk overran us through the middle. That needs to be addressed.


    So, three days later, the league game in Dundalk – we set out with to defensive midfielders this time. Push the lone man in the centre forward into a more attacking role to ensure Dundalk has a bit more work to do to cover our guys when we have the ball.






    Sometimes you have to surprise your opponent. We certainly do. We create space on the wings over and over again. The forward rushing Fitzgerald and Passley create plenty of problems for Dundalk's understaffed defence when they lose the ball in the tight net we're spanning in midfield. It works to perfection. No surprise that the two wingers Paxman and O’Regan bring us in front before half-time. Uche Ikpeazu with the icing on the cake later on – his 20th of the season!

    A remarkable win. Probably the best performance of the season. Spectacular football. Fast and furious. 3-0 against the champions. It’s the spring momentum that carries us through this month….


    … and continues to do so. Northside rivals Shels next on the agenda – once more Ikpeazu with the goal of the day. The game, though makes headlines less than for this excellent individual effort, as more for what happened soon after: a rather harmless foul in midfield by Ryan O’Regan. Shels midfielder Ryan O’Reilly doesn’t take it so lightly, throws some harsh words towards O’Regan… comes captain Alex Kenyon to his aid, a little bit to brash, pushes O’Reilly to the ground. Yellow for O’Regan, Red for Kenyon and O’Reilly.

    Shels manager Owen Hearry finds some unflattering words for referee Anthony Buttimer speaking to the press afterwards. Understandably. His player didn’t do all that much wrong. Well, that’s football….


    Few days later another derby – a quick trip across the Liffey to St. Pats – it’s going to be the fifth win on the bounce, albeit by the tightest of margins.



    …..






    Colin McCabe plays for the Irish under-21! Been in the team a good handful of times, finally his chance to show himself. The game was lost 2-1, however commentary around the game was very positive about McCabe’s general performance in goal.

    One week later McCabe is again in goal, when Ireland beat the North in a thrilling game. It’s fantastic to see Colin getting recognition for his excellent performances in the League of Ireland.


    ……



    A 3-2 win for Dundalk over Cork City in the battle of first vs. second, means the champions of the last four years, have done it again – for fifth time in a row – with four games before the end of the season!

    However, we let the chance slip to take over 2nd place from the Rebels. A pretty poor showing in Galway results in a 1-0 defeat and means our nice run of form ends abruptly. It’s one of those games you wonder as a manager afterwards if you let things get going bit too much…. free Monday is off as a consequence. The boys have to catch up on a bit of running from Saturday.



    The final game against Shamrock Rovers for the season. One could think people get tired of it if you meet five times a year…. But nope, this game remains as hotly contested each and every time. We could play probably fifty times each year and the ground would be packed regardless!

    A late Eoghan Morgan goal secures a well-deserved one-all draw. Means, we haven’t lost a single Derby this season against Rovers. A good feeling. Cork loses against Pats… we’re second.









    .......




    April 2019


    For a long time Bray Wanders looked like a solid top-4 finisher. Recent weeks saw them slip away. We didn’t look too good against them in most games this season, though. Not this time. Slight adjustments in our tactical systems, with the defensive midfielders allowed to join play more aggressively when we have the ball, while the wingers shall move slightly more to the centre to provide space for the wing backs as well as more options in midfield generally.

    Works perfect. Only goals are missing. An onslaught on the Seagull’s goal; it needs a tremendous individual effort from Paxman to break the deadlock. Takes the ball on his left side, dribbles around three puzzled Bray players, curls the ball inch perfect towards goal, no chance for Bray’s young keeper.

    Another 1-0 win. In each of our last five games we scored at least a goal – however never scored more than once. In turn, conceded only once! Minimalists.



    Two more games. Cork City next. Second vs. Third. Both teams with the same amount of points, though we’re with better goal differential. A win will most likely the secure second place. A draw leaves the fate up to us in the final game.


    Twelve shots on goal, several penalty shouts dismissed, a harsh red card for Lorcan Fitzgerald and a Cork goal after a corner. A night that did not went our way at all. It could have been all oh so different. It hurts. It really does. The boys with heads down in the room. Tough. We have got to blame ourselves though. Yes ref was rubbish. But if you convert only one of your many big chances throughout the 90 minutes, you got to get a point here. Learn from it.


    Unfortunately this seems to put a line through the seasons for the team. A 2-1 loss in Limerick is a rather disappointing end to an otherwise fantastic season. However this is tough to accept. We lost twice to a team this season that won only five games all year and is a whopping 13pts behind the second last.



    ……..




    Analysis - Season 2018/2019






    .....



    2018/19 - The Good:

    • Uche Ikpeazu: 21 league goals in his LOI & Bohs maiden season.
    • Lorcan Fitzgerald: 10 Assists (and 2 goals); LOI’s most prolific left back.
    • Colin McCabe: Established as number one.
    • 2.753: Second highest average attendance in the league.
    • 30: Least goals conceded in the league.


    2018/19 - The Bad:

    • 50 goals: Only three teams scored less in the league.
    • Only six players achieved league rating of 7.00 or over.
    • Derek Pender: No single minute played this season.



    3rd. A wonderful achievement for the club. The best finish in nearly a decade. With three more games to ply this season we won five more games and scored eleven more goals than the season before. That is a solid improvement given we brought some fine signings in over the summer.

    However, I feel we’re at a cross-roads. A good handful of contracts are up for renewal. The likes of Hayes, Nicholls, Kenna are difficult cases. They add some value. Are solid. Can throw them in and more often than not they give us some decent return. On the other hand, realistically these aren’t players that will move this club forward. They’re merely the status quo. We want to improve, get better, compete for the title, though.

    It’s a tough decision to make, however I feel we can save a few quid and find similar sort of players on the loan market but save the salary. It’s an economical decision after all. The squad is bough enough also. And cost slightly too much money, for that matter. We merely break even most months, sometimes not, if there are a couple of weeks without high profile home games.

    I’m not prepared to offer Dylan Hayes a four grand a month contract extension. I like him. He’s improved this year. But by no means has he been a regular and certainly won’t become the highest paid player.

    Solid, flexible in the attacking front has been Alex Nicholls. 17 games, he came often from the bench. Yet 3 assists is not a sufficient enough return to give him a new contract. There is, I think a fair chance to find players on loan who can fill this role next season. So his first year at the club will remain his last one.

    Big man Conor Kenna isn’t getting any younger. 34 now. I know why I gave him a one year deal. The hope was that he can be a solid man if called upon, and young Warren O’Hara can learn from the experienced defender. Kenna has found it difficult to get his legs moving at a pace that is required at Premier Division level over the last half year or so, though. Time for retirement?

    Club regulars Derek Pender, last year still captain, and Ian Morris have seldom featured in games this season. They’re time is up. As hard as this sometimes is to tell players who gave their heart to this football club for so long.

    My aim is to make this team better, however. So, we need to make tough calls. We need to bring in more quality. And if that isn’t possible, then retain the level we’re at now at a minimum cost. League of Ireland is all about money. That’s the way it is in a semi-professional environment.

    It also proves incredibly difficult to sell Bohs to players that are on the market and could make the difference but for whom there is no way they will play on a rain battered pitch at grounds that look like ruins from 100 years ago – like Tolka Park… or our very own Dalymount Park, for that matter.


    .....


    League Stats - Goalkeepers:




    League Stats - Defenders:




    League Stats - Midfield:




    League Stats - Forwards:





    .....


    Dundalk FC completes the ultimate season: wide margin winner of the league for the 5th time in a row; the Lilywhites also land the FAI Cup, the League Cup and the Leinster Senior Cup - in fact any national competition they took part in they won!!! This team is surely the measure stick for the rest in the country - and it shows what an almighty task we at Bohs face if, indeed, we want to truly challenge for the title in the not too distinct future.

    Wexford Youth win the First Division and are back in the top flight next season. However for the second year running Drogheda United survives the drop in dramatic fashion in the play-offs. They turn a 3-1 first leg loss around to win the second leg 3-0 against Longford Town.


    ......


    It's certainly recognition for the strong performances we as a club have shown, however also the individuals who drove the success receiving the honour they deserve: Colin McCabe has been included in the Premier Division XI of the year - the second year running a Bohs keeper has been awarded the keeper of the year recognition. Also Lorcan Fitzgerald has made his way into the team. Uche Ikpeazu has been included too, though only on the bench. All three, without a doubt, had outstanding seasons.


    Last edited by The Porridge Flo; 27-11-17 at 12:04 AM.

  21. #21

    Join Date
    31-07-15
    Location
    Nijmegen, Netherlands
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    686
    Are you ready for European football?

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