Monday 21 October 2019

Gypsies offer Chelsea some home comforts

Bohemians manager Keith Long. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Bohemians manager Keith Long. Photo: Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Bohemians have conceded one aspect of their home advantage for tonight's friendly with Chelsea - Frank Lampard set to take charge of the Stamford Bridge club for the first time at Dalymount Park.

The tiny away dressing room at the Phibsboro venue - which was being used as a stadium a full four years before Chelsea were founded in 1905 - would struggle to accommodate Chelsea's backroom staff, let alone their playing squad.

So Keith Long's men will use the away changing room and let Lampard and his squad bunk into in the home one - extra space for treatment tables also needed for the Blues in the Jackie Jameson Bar adjacent to the dressing room.

"It's a really good game for our club, a chance to get some revenue in," said Long.

The club also confirmed that the manager and his playing staff have all paid in to the game and also paid for tickets for family and friends. Bohs are hoping to clear more than €60,000 from the night.

"But we want to put on a show in terms of the match itself," Long added. "We don't have a league game next weekend due to the European fixtures so I can pick a strong side.

Bohemians star Danny Mandroiu (centre) with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award for June 2019, alongside Ruth Ryan of SSE Airtricity and members of St Kevin’s Boys club in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Bohemians star Danny Mandroiu (centre) with his SSE Airtricity/SWAI Player of the Month Award for June 2019, alongside Ruth Ryan of SSE Airtricity and members of St Kevin’s Boys club in Dublin yesterday. Photo: Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

"It's good for us to have Frank Lampard here for his first match in charge of them, but I will have a strong team out and it's a chance for our players to prove themselves."

Big names were thin on the ground when Lampard named his initial squad for the week-long stay in Ireland (Chelsea are training at Carton House in Maynooth), but the big guns have been drafted in recently such as Mateo Kovacic, N'Golo Kante, Jorginho and Ross Barkley.

Meanwhile, Bohs star Danny Mandroiu's recent form has been rewarded after he was named Player of the Month for June by the Soccer Writers Association of Ireland.

"It's nice to win the award, but I couldn't have done it without my team-mates," said the St Kevin's Boys graduate. "I'm learning from the older lads around me, and Trev (Croly) and Keith (Long) are great too. They know how to man-manage and they let you express yourself, which I like. Bohs is a special club and the fans are unbelievable, so I just have to thank them."

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