They have lost a lot of players but last week Bohemian FC were the most active side in the SSE Airtricity League with four new players arriving in Dalymount Park. Goalkeeper Niall Corbet signs from Waterford were he was voted PFAI Goalkeeper of the Season in 2017. Defender James Finnerty was last with Rochdale and before that was on the books of Aston Villa. Michael Barker has returned to his former club after spells away with UCD, Bray Wanderers and St. Patrick’s Athletic. Danny Mandroiu is the last of the quartet and is a young midfielder who was playing with Brighton’s U-23’s. Paddy Kirk and Ryan Swann have also re-signed for the 2019 season.
It looks like Bohs will be keeping hold of their manager Keith Long, he had been mentioned as a possible contender to replace Stephen Kenny at Dundalk but it is looking more and more likely that the Lillywhites will be putting in place a managerial team that will include Kenny’s longtime assistant Vinny Perth. Speaking of Kenny and in what I thought was a nice touch he was in Blackrock yesterday which is a small village in Louth to turn on the Christmas lights. He had given his commitment before his appointment to the FAI and honoured it. I was there as it’s where my little girl goes to school. Very clear to see how much he means to Dundalk supporters and what a big task it will be to replace him.
Waterford FC who were one of the surprise packets last season as they followed up winning the First Division in 2017 by finishing 4th in the Premier Division ensuring qualification for the Europe League qualifiers. They confirmed during the week that Bastien Hery and Ismahil Akinade would be staying on with the club for another season and also announced the capture of Shane Duggan. The midfielder had been playing with Munster rivals Limerick FC and previously had spells with Cork City, UCD and Plymouth.
St. Patrick’s Athletic, who by their standards had a disappointing campaign, have also been acting quick as they look to reshape their squad. Their new manager Harry Kenny brought in former Dundalk midfielder Georgie Poynton, he had been on loan with Bohemian FC last season and is the second new midfielder to arrive at Richmond Park. Earlier in the week, they signed Cian Coleman who like Duggan had been playing with Limerick last season. After seeing their promotion campaign tail off last season Longford have begun their preparations for next season as they have brought in former Shelbourne FC goalkeeper Lee Steacy and midfielder Anto Breslin who joins from Wolves. One player leaving the City Calling Stadium is keeper Michael Kelly who is expected to sign for English League One side Colchester United.