2024 preview - Bohemians

5th February 2024

Previewing Bohemians ahead of the new SSE Airtricity Men's Premier Division season

As we come to the end of the pre-season across the League of Ireland, one Club’s forums and social media rumour mills have been in over drive as the Bohs faithful have all had their say on preparations for the new season. 

After a stunning start to the 2023 campaign, Declan Devine’s side’s form fell dramatically in the second half of the season and the Cup Final failed to save what once looked to be a very promising year in Phibsborough. 

Though the off-season took a while to get going Devine and Director of Football Pat Fenlon have moved to bring in new faces with the Estonian trio of Martin Miller, Sten Reinkort and Michael Milander welcomed into Bohemians offices. 

Bringing in new talent from outside the League always carries a slight level of risk but given Markus Poom’s success at cross-city rivals Shamrock Rovers, Bohs fans have reason to be hopeful that their new Baltic recruits can add to what is already a good core. 

This core has also been added to by Dayle Rooney’s signature after he enjoyed a brilliant 2023 with Drogheda United and goes into full-time football for the first time at Bohs.

The return of Rob Cornwall will also please Bohs fans but there is still a sense that, with the departure of Jonathan Afolabi, more business is expected to be done by the time their opener comes on February 16. 

Serious quality remains in the Bohs side, however, and Devine will be hoping for big years from Danny Grant, Dylan Connolly and a stand-out last year in James Clarke who cemented himself as a firm fan favourite. 

“We have a very strong nucleus in our squad,” Devine told the media after capturing Lilander and Miller. 

“Players who know the league. I class Jordan Flores as an adopted Irishman, James Akintunde has been in Ireland for years, likewise now for Declan McDaid. And right through our squad, we have a strong Dublin core – players like Rob Cornwall, Paddy Kirk, Danny Grant, James Clarke, Adam McDonnell, James McManus and Dylan Connolly,” he added. 

“So we are very fortunate that we have that spine here already, and it is important not to look past that, as the club were strategic in signing those players down to longer deals than would have been given out before to give us strong foundations to build on.

“The reality is that to add extra quality to the group this window, we have had to look beyond the league, and that can take time. There are more players tied down at clubs in this league on long-term deals than ever before, so the pool of players familiar to the league and to our supporters that would improve our squad has been limited compared to what it would have been in previous off-seasons,” he said. 

With Keith Buckley sidelined for the start of the season after last year’s unfortunate injury, James McManus will likely grow again into the central midfield role which he has been beginning to make his own. 

Bohs fans will expect a run at Europe again to try make it back to the continent and with the sting last year’s Cup Final still lingering - expectations of silverware will also remain for a Club looking back to 2009 since their last major trophy. 

Finish last season - 6th
Manager - Declan Devine
Key player - Dayle Rooney