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Bohemians boss Keith Long hopeful of keeping striker Promise Omochere amid interest from England

Gypsies manager rues loss of midfielder Dawson Devoy to MK Dons but insists LOI clubs must get value for money for their top talent

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Promise Omochere of Bohemians is tackled by Keith Cowan of Drogheda United during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Head in the Game Park in Drogheda, Co Louth. Photo: George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Promise Omochere of Bohemians is tackled by Keith Cowan of Drogheda United during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Head in the Game Park in Drogheda, Co Louth. Photo: George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Promise Omochere of Bohemians is tackled by Keith Cowan of Drogheda United during the SSE Airtricity League Premier Division match at Head in the Game Park in Drogheda, Co Louth. Photo: George Tewkesbury/Sportsfile

Having already lost one of their star players this month, Bohemians are hopeful they can keep hold of attacker Promise Omochere in the face of interest from the UK.

Friday's 1-0 win away to Drogheda United, the first case of back to back league wins for the Gypsies this season, was the first time that Bohs have played this season without Dawson Devoy, who agreed a move to League One outfit MK Dons last week.

English clubs have really stepped up their interest in League of Ireland players this summer, with UCD defender Eric Yoro the latest to depart, his move to Bolton Wanderers completed in recent days, following earlier exits for Darragh Burns and Danny Mandroiu to League One teams.

Teenagers Josh Keeley (St Patrick's Athletic to Spurs), Trent Kone-Doherty (Derry City to Liverpool) and Alex Murphy (Galway United to Newcastle United) have also departed for Premier League teams.

League One side Fleetwood Town, now managed by former Celtic man Scott Brown, were strongly linked with Omochere (21), the Irish underage cap who made his Bohs debut in 2018 and while a bid has yet to be made, one is expected.

"I hope we have him, let's see," Bohs boss Keith Long said when asked if Omochere would see out the season at Bohs.

"At this moment in time Promise is a Bohemians player, and we are planning for him to be with us to the end of the season, hopefully beyond, but who knows.

"There are clubs who are interested in some of our players, the players want to test themselves at the highest level they possibly can, with young players it's only natural for them to have those ambitions. Speculation will follow our better players, it's part of the game.

"We have to be realistic, our league is being raided by a lot of clubs in the UK for young talent, what we have to try and do there is to make sure we are getting good value for players of that quality," he added, admitting that Devoy was a loss.

"We will miss a player of his quality," says Long. "He is an exceptional talent, he's been so good for us for the last two and a half seasons, hopefully he will go on to carve out a career in the UK and we wish him all the best.

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"It's hard to know how he will do, he has the talent, he's technically very proficient and he's a very level-headed young man. He's at a club where the manager's style of play is to use his technical players and Dawson is one of those.

"It's a tough league, you have to play every Saturday and Tuesday, that places demands on players.

"Hopefully he can go there, fit into the manager's plans and settle well, though there is talk of a loan, we all want to see him do well as he owes us nothing, he goes with our best wishes though we are sorry to lose a player of that calibre."

Long was relieved to get the 1-0 win away to Drogheda, a rare case of successive wins.

"It's July, it's about time it happened but we're pleased with that, we kept a clean sheet and that gives us a platform to win the game," Long said.

"We had to hang on in there a little bit, they threw bodies forward, the game was very open with chances at both ends, a penalty shout at both ends, we got ahead with a good team goal, Liam Burt with a quality finish and thankfully we stayed ahead.

"We knew it would be tough, we had to battle and scrap.”


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