Manager: Sean Byrne
Stadium: Oscar Traynor Complex / Dalymount Park
Players in: Niamh Coombes), Paula Doran (Athlone Town), Jade Reddy (Peamount United), Isobel Finnegan, Erica Byrne (unattached), Naima Chemaou, Clare Conlon (Peamount United).
Players out: Rugile Auskilnayte (DLR Waves), Alannah Maxwell, Jessica Darby, Chelsee Snell, Aisling Spillane, Shauna Newman, Keelin McEntee, Robyn Bolger, Kerri Duffy, Jennifer Cosgrave, Sinead O’Farrelly, Nicole Plunkett (released), Rebecca Creagh (Shelbourne).
Extratime.ie Key Player: Sophie Watters
Dundalk native Sophie Watters had plenty of success with Shelbourne but made the move to Bohemians last January and has benefitted from more consistent football.
Her outrageous strike in the FAI Cup game with Athlone Town propelled Bohs to the quarter-finals, and she led by example in an otherwise inexperienced side.
As newly-installed captain, Watters will take on increased responsibility this year and her calm head and cool passing in midfield will be vital if Bohs are the progress.
Extratime.ie One to Watch: Naima Chemaou
If the word ‘mercurial’ can be assigned to any player in the league it’s playmaker Chemaou, who has equal parts delighted and frustrated in her time in the league.
A few years at UCD Waves came to an end in 2019 when she joined basement-dwellers Kilkenny United, but she did enough there to earn a move to Peamount mid-season.
After playing only a bit-part role in Greenogue, she moved on and is now charged with providing the creative spark for what is a Bohemians side capable of big things.
How they did last season:
Bohs finished ninth in their first season in the senior National League but that doesn’t tell the whole story as they more than held their own with some of the league’s best.
They went toe-to-toe with Wexford Youths at Ferrycarrig Park on the opening day and were unfortunate to run out 4-1 losers.
They didn’t suffer any serious defeats in their 11 games and played out a thrilling 5-4 defeat to Treaty United and a 3-2 loss to Cork City that showed their attacking talent.
FAI Cup: Quarter Finals
Following a penalty shoot-out win over Athlone Town in the preliminary round they lost 3-1 at home to Cork City in the quarters.
What to expect this season:
Progressing from bottom place will the aim this season for Sean Byrne, who was trimmed what was a large squad in 2020 significantly.
He has kept hold of goalkeeper Courtney Maguire, which was vital, while Niamh Coombes coming in from Athlone will leave two top-class keepers on the books.
Goals were a problem, however, and that won’t be helped by the loss of Alannah Maxwell but the creativity of Naima Chemaou will be a huge asset.
Title Odds: 100/1
First game: Home v Treaty United, Saturday, March 27th, 2pm.
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