Bohemians will follow Cork City and UCD as Ireland’s participants in the UEFA Youth League when they face Danish side Midtylland in the MCH Arena on Wednesday night.
Manager Craig Sexton told theleagueofireland.com “The European games are going to be tough, a few players have missed out through the competition rules but we will be competitive and it will be a brilliant experience for all of us.”
After last season’s league success Bohemians have continued that form into this season, winning the Enda McGuill Cup along the way and also qualifying for the league playoffs, which begin at the weekend as they go in search of back-to-back titles.
“It’s been a fantastic season to date with a number of players making their first team debuts and also being competitive on all fronts. The Enda McGuill Cup win was also nice for the lads to achieve.”
Unfortunately for some of their players, the likes of first-team regular Danny Grant and Jamie Hamilton, they didn’t meet the criteria for the competition and will miss out. There are also five players in the travelling party who have already tasted senior football under Keith Long, while goalkeeper Seán Bohan has been a regular on the bench.
The Bohs squad at the airport ahead of the flight to Denmark;
We’re at the airport nice and early…off to Aarhus (in the middle of our street) 🔴⚫️
U19s play Midtjylland in the UEFA Youth League tomorrow at 5.30pm Danish time pic.twitter.com/hQKwp1WI1W
— Bohemian FC 🔴⚫ (@bfcdublin) October 2, 2018
Sexton said, “Some of the boys didn’t meet the criteria, which is disappointing but we have a strong group who I believe will be strongly competitive and positive as they always have been. The issue around eligibility for the compeitition are what they are but they are kinder to the winter leagues rather than summer leagues.”
“But in this group we have young boys who have done really well over the last 18 months. They will play with no fear and are determined to get a positive result tomorrow.
“We want to bring the tie back to Dalymount in a few weeks time and show people what we are about.”
While they may be missing some players this Bohs Team is jam-packed full of talent, including Steven Nolan, Andy Lyons, Promise Omochere and the extremely impressive striker Ali Reghba.
Sexton spoke about what the players can look forward to from their European adventure and about the success of their partnership with St Kevin’s Boys. Reaching this competition is the culmination of a lot of hard work going on behind the scenes at youth level, which has been complemented this season by working closely with their new partners St Kevin’s at U-17 and U-15 level.
Sexton said, “It’s a great experience for everyone. Getting to be able to travel, coming across to play in a different culture is what we should be striving for all the time for young players. To do it in a competitive environment is great for them. It creates a real edge for them.”
“Everyone at the club has bought into it. They know the U-19’s have done them extremely proud and we’ve had brilliant support from the club. Hopefully long may it continue. We want to make being in the UEFA Youth League a habit and everyone in the first team is striving to get to Europe too.”
“Right through from the partnership teams with St Kevin’s at U-15’s and U-17’s there is huge effort being made to bring players through.
“The link with St Kevin’s is already bearing fruits with the U-15’s and U-17’s and we will see that come through then in the next year or two for the U-19’s.
“It’s been fantastic. The U-17’s have gone 20 games unbeaten, which is phenominal. Hopefully they can see that through into the knockout phase as Jimmy Mowlds and the boys deserve it.
“They were desparetely unlucky to lose to Cork in the final last year but they’ve been brilliant. When they players move from U-17’s to U-19’s they make the transition quickly because they’ve already been in a competitive environment and that stands them in good stead.”
Bohemians U—19 squad: Seán Bohan, Jamie Cleary, Alex Nevin; Michell Byrne, Seamus Curley, Warren Curran, Andrew Lyons, Peter Adigun, Thomas Considine; Dylan Thornton, Alex Kelly, Josh Dunne, Conor O’Neill, Ryan Graydon, Arturs Balavins; Ross Tierney, Ali Reghba, Promise Omochere, Steven Nolan.