Bohs line up Collins as Heary stakes claim for job
OWEN HEARY is trying to learn from the example of his former managers as he comes to terms with the responsibility of his role as caretaker boss of Bohemians.
But with Roddy Collins meeting with Athlone directors last night to discuss an approach from the Gypsies, it's unclear how much time Heary will get to prove his long- term suitability.
The veteran defender has stepped into the breach since the departure of Aaron Callaghan, although a playing suspension meant he was unable to be in the dugout for last Friday's win in Bray and he will also have to watch from a distance when Drogheda United visit Dalymount Park tonight.
In the build-up, Heary has been trying to construct a more stable first-team squad, with a high turnover of players having been a negative feature of Callaghan's tenure. He has brought in ex-Bohs man and well-travelled League of Ireland performer Anto Murphy from Sheriff YC. However, he will also have to move players on.
"It's the hard part," said Heary. "But that's part and parcel of the game. I've seen Dermot Keely do it, Pat Fenlon do it. Players come and go. In terms of Bohs this year, we've had too many coming and going. We have to get a settled squad together."
Heary's lack of a Pro Licence prevents him from taking the job on a full-time basis at this juncture and he's unsure how long he will last as temporary boss.
"It could be a week, it could be two weeks," he said. "I will go along until I am told differently."
A representative of Bohemians contacted Athlone earlier this week to enquire if Collins would be available to talk about a return to Dalymount. The board of the midlands club were set to meet Collins last night in an attempt to persuade him to stay.
Bohs have also considered a number of other candidates for the post. In the meantime, Heary is enjoying an experience which has confirmed his long-term desire to move into management.
Hibs boss Fenlon was in touch earlier in the week. "He rang and said, 'It's easy this game isn't it'. The whole week leading up to the game is great, in terms of doing proper training and giving instructions. Then when it comes to the match, you're sitting up in the gantry, which isn't ideal."
A win for Bohs tonight could potentially drag Drogheda United into the mire with the meeting of other relegation contenders UCD and Shelbourne ensuring it'll be a significant night at the bottom.
Bray are also in trouble and face a tricky trip to Dundalk, who are looking to continue their title charge.