Bohemians will be vying to reach the second round of the UEFA Youth League as they welcome FC Midtjylland to Dalymount Park tomorrow night. After a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Denmark, Craig Sexton's Bohemians Under 19 side know they've got to w
Bohemians will be vying to reach the second round of the UEFA Youth League as they welcome FC Midtjylland to Dalymount Park tomorrow night.
After a 2-1 defeat in the first leg in Denmark, Craig Sexton's Bohemians Under 19 side know they've got to win if they're going to progress in Europe's elite youth competition.
Steven Nolan's 77th minute strike in the first leg gave the SSE Airtricity U19 League Champions a vital route back into the tie, with a big crowd expected at Dalymount Park for the second leg tomorrow night.
Having come through a penalty shoot-out in the SSE Airtricity U19 League semi-final against UCD on Saturday, Sexton has had the players taking all the necessary steps to recover ahead of tomorrow's match.
"Everyone is fit and well. We played 120 minutes on Saturday so that was a concern but everyone seems to have come through it which is a real positive," Sexton said.
"We had them out in the sea on Sunday morning which is always great for the recovery, and then some cryotherapy yesterday so we're trying to do everything right in the lead up to it."
Goals from Oliver Sørensen Jensen and Casper Tengstedt put the Danish outfit into a comfortable lead during the first leg before Nolan's second-half strike.
Having taken the first-half to get used to their opposition in the first leg, Sexton believes there were a number of positive signs in the second-half and has backed his players to create opportunities.
"The players knew themselves at half-time that they needed to improve and they did it. After the game, the players came off knowing they aren't a million miles away from them and that they aren't unbeatable," Sexton continued.
"That's what we've focused on coming into this leg. You look back at the game and you can see that we can create problems for them and there were some excellent signs during the match.
"We can pass the ball well, we can play through them and we can create chances, and we've got to look at those positives and capitalise on those opportunities during the game."
Bohemians U19 striker Ali Reghba and captain Andy Lyons were part of the Republic of Ireland U19 side which recently topped their qualifying group with wins over Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Faroe Islands and the Netherlands.
Both are set to feature tomorrow night as Sexton praises the work being done across the under-age structures in Ireland, and he believes the support and the conditions at Dalymount will play their part.
"It's probably more than a leveller, we'd like to think! The pitch won't be what they're used to and the away dressing rooms will be different for them," Sexton added.
"The fans have really brought into it and there seems to be a huge interest in the game, not just in the Bohemians community but the wider League community.
"I'd like to think they'd turn up and get behind the boys. We're showcasing ourselves, not just from a club perspective but also highlighting the league and the great work being done across the under-age structures in Ireland.
"From the 15s, 17s and 19s, it shows that we're beginning to produce players who can compete at under-age international level and also in European competition. That's down to the structures and the good people we've got working in the game across the country, and it's only going to improve."
UEFA Youth League - Domestic Champions, First Round - Fixture
24/10 - Bohemians v FC Midtjylland, Dalymount Park, 7pm