Bohemians put Matt Doherty transfer money to good use as they announce link up with DCUby Rónán MacNamara
Bohemians manager Keith Long feels that the clubs 18-year partnership with DCU is a positive step in improving ‘all aspects of the club.’
The arrangement will see the DCU Sports Campus in Glasnevin become Bohs’ training base while the club will provide a seven figure investment into improving the training facilities.
CEO of DCU sport, Ken Robinson feels the campus has ‘championship level facilities’ while COO of Bohemians, Daniel Lambert says the investment from the club will make the training complex the ‘best facility in the league.’
Lambert also admitted the €1.5 million Bohs pocketed from Wolves’ £15million sale of Matt Doherty to Spurs as part of a sell on clause accelerated the process.
Long stressed the importance of the young players being able to train alongside the first team at the new facility, as the club try to promote from the academy.
“When we’re bringing players to the club, when we’re trying to promote our own players that they can see the first team and see how they train and how we operate.
“Having that collaboration amongst coaches and players alike, I think that’s really important for us to aid the development of young players,” he added.
While the partnership will improve the Gypsies off the pitch, they saw big improvements on the pitch, finishing runners up to Shamrock Rovers in the Premier Division thus qualifying for Europe for a second consecutive season.
Bohs endured a busy transfer window, signing nine new players including Bastien Hery, Georgie Kelly and Ali Coote. They also saw big names like Danny Grant, Daniel Mandroiu and Andre Wright leave Dalymount.
Keith Long wants the club to be as competitive as possible but admits patience will be needed to allow his new signings to bed in.
“We want to try and compete and challenge for silverware there’s no doubt about that.
“We need to be patient with what is essentially a new group of players, the sort of stability we had last season hasn’t been there we’ve had to recruit a lot of new players,” he added.
Georgie Kelly, Thomas Oluwa and Bradley Rolt all came in the door at Dalymount as Bohs look to fill the void left by Wright and Grant who scored 15 of the 23 goals scored last season.
Long feels that there is more to come from Georgie Kelly and that his side can play to the former Dundalk forward’s strengths. He also feels Oluwa has a point to prove after being on the fringes at Shamrock Rovers.
“He’s a player that gives us something different, he’s fast, he’s quick, he’s powerful. He fits the profile of player we want to bring to the club.”
While replacing the goals of Wright and Grant may prove difficult, Bohs had the second best defensive record last season conceding 12. Long was hopeful of similar performances this season.
“The defence gives us a platform to play and keeping clean sheets keeps you in the game and by doing that you can nick a goal here and come out the right side of the result.”
Bohemians travel to face First Division outfit Galway United tomorrow night in a pre-season friendly before making the trip to Finn Harps next Saturday in their opening game of the season.