Keith Buckley: 'We know the games will be coming thick and fast and we're ready to go'

Thu, Jul 30 2020

It will be 149 days since Bohs skipper Keith Buckley will have tasted competitive action, and ahead his side trip to Turner’s to face Cork City cross this Sunday, the desire to go back to battle is burning as bright as ever.

“I really can’t wait to get back to it” Buckley said. “Obviously, it’ll be strange not having fans at the games but as players, and especially for this club with such incredible support.

“From a player’s position whether it be training or playing in front of 20 or 2000 people, you have to give 100% and nothing less will be accepted at Bohs.

“I know everyone is different, but self-motivation is one of the most important things the lockdown has thought us. We all got our running and training programmes etc. and you must take responsibility.

“Thankfully, we have a really dedicated, professional group and everyone came back in great shape. The time off gave players a chance to recover from knocks too, so the likes of Dinny Corcoran will be like a new signing.

“With the size of the squad we have now, and the talent available, you can’t let standards slip even for a few days.

“But I’m not sure if its mentioned enough, mentally the lockdown months could be quite challenging from a players perspective.

“You are used to having certain dates in mind and gearing towards them goals, so the uncertainty and not having a routine can be tough to adjust to.

“Also, in terms of things like training and our famous ‘Irish summers’, lads can’t just hop in the shower, some have to travel over an hour to get home which can’t be easy, so there’s little changes in the background which can also be challenging.

“But we’re lucky to be in this position now, a few days before the restart, the excitement is building again and looking forward to hopefully a good tie in Europe.”

Fresh from a strong performance against Longford Town, in which the midfielder added the third in a professional 3-1 victory, Buckley added: “When you look around the squad it’s probably the biggest and best we’ve had.

“I feel like we can challenge and compete on all fronts. It’s also great to see the talent coming through from the academy and, how they have not just settled, but also pushed other players on,

“Keith (Long) deserves huge credit for giving them their chance especially in a results-based business. So ahead of the return I really wouldn’t like to be in the gaffer’s shoes picking a squad for the weekend!

“We know the games will be coming thick and fast and we’re ready to go. We’ve had experience of playing behind closed doors now with the friendlies.

“We’re lucky to even have the condensed season because at times it looked like we weren’t going to have the chance to play it out.

“I’m sure others have said the same but you have to hit the ground running, especially with the shortened season, there really isn’t many games to be playing catch up, but we’ll be focusing on ourselves and confident the results will reflect the work we have put in.”

The newly launched WatchLOI streaming service will debut this weekend and the Gypsies skipper feels like its a fantastic initiative and hopes it can really take off, saying: “It looks really good and I’m glad we have this platform to showcase our league, especially with the option to stream abroad as it opens the league to a bigger market.

“I really hope there’s a good take up in subscriptions and fans enjoy it.