Sunday 20 October 2019

Long hopes Bohs stars keep shining for national sides

Musician Natty Wailer with comedians PJ Gallagher (left) and Eric Lalor at the launch of the Big Bohs Gig, a fundraiser for the club’s training base at Vicar St on May 19. Photo: Sportsfile
Musician Natty Wailer with comedians PJ Gallagher (left) and Eric Lalor at the launch of the Big Bohs Gig, a fundraiser for the club’s training base at Vicar St on May 19. Photo: Sportsfile

Aidan Fitzmaurice

Keith Long hopes that the current crop of players available to him at Bohemians will not be the last of the international playboys.

Long had a number of players absent from training recently but for good reason, as Darragh Leahy and Daniel Mandriou were with the Ireland U-21 squad, making their debuts at that level in Sunday's 3-0 win over Luxembourg.

Andy Lyons and Ali Reghba were tired, but happy, when they landed back on Irish soil yesterday, having played a key role in the Ireland U-19 side's success in winning their four-team group in Russia and earning qualification for the European Championship finals.

There was even a Bohs presence in the Albania camp, Gypsies youngster Marlon Marishta training with their U-19s this week.

"It's brilliant, we had seven players away last week, it's unheard of in our recent history here," says Long.

"It's a sign of what we're doing with the young players here.

"Obviously, it can help us in other ways to help attract players here, to see there are opportunities if you're doing well and hopefully they will get some opportunities to maybe come to the attention of international managers and do well for themselves.

"With Stephen Kenny going in as manager of the U-21s he wants to promote the best of the domestic players, you can see that.

"It's a sign of our success, a lot of other clubs are doing things right too, players are coming through the underage system and being successful at international level and that's fantastic to see.

"It's a good problem to have. They're home-grown, they've come through the youth set-up here."

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