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The son is rising at Bohs

THIRTY YEARS after his dad began a glittering career in the red and black jersey of Bohemians, Conor O'Brien has also taken a major step forwards with the Gypsies.

And Bohs manager Aaron Callaghan is hoping for great things from young midfielder Conor, who made his full league debut for the Dalymount Park club in Monday's 1-1 draw with St Patrick's Athletic.

Liam O'Brien, currently preparing for a Scottish Cup final later this month in his role as Pat Fenlon's assistant at Hibernian, enjoyed some great moments in his time with Manchester United, Newcastle United and the senior Ireland team, but it all began for O'Brien with Bohs in 1983.

His son Conor had a tough start to his Bohs career as he was substituted by Callaghan at half time on Monday night but Callaghan is confident that the midfielder can blossom into a top talent.

"I took Conor off early in the game but that's no reflection on him, he has a lot more to contribute and I hope he will be a big player for us," says Callaghan.


"Conor has been chomping at the bit for the last few games and we gave him a chance against Pat's. The way I often try to handle young players is to put them in, give them a taste of what it's like and then take them out for a while, manage their development.

"I spoke to Conor after the game on Monday and while he was delighted to get a start in the side, he was out of breath. This is a very tough league and for a young player, playing against a very good side like Pat's is very different to matches in the U19 league or training games. So by introducing him slowly I want to take the pressure off him and then watch him develop," added Callaghan.

"You can't play a full season in your first year at a club, I know that myself. As a 17-year-old at Stoke I went into the team at Stoke City and played seven or eight games but it was very hard to sustain that as I was so young, it's all about managing the progress."

O'Brien is just one of a number of players in the league this season who have a famous dad in their corner (see panel), and Callaghan is aware that having an ex-pro as a dad can put a burden on a young player.

"Liam was a fantastic player, one of the best passers of the ball around, but Conor is a different player," says Callaghan.


"He's an all-action midfield player who likes to get into the box, put in a challenge. We have to manage everything about Conor to try and help him develop, there will be some expectations as his dad did play for Ireland and played for Manchester United, but Conor can deal with it.

"There is a lot more to come from Conor this season but he's not the only one.

"I think that as the season goes on the league will see a lot more of lads like Andy Mulligan and Chris Lyons, a lot of them are only learning the game," he added.