League Preview: Shelbourne -v- Bohemians

Shelbourne boss Damien Duff

Shelbourne boss Damien Duff Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)


Shelbourne welcome Dublin rivals Bohemians FC to a sold out Tolka Park this evening as Duffer's army aims to maintain their league dominance and secure their 7th win of the season.

5,700 fans will watch from the stands of Dublin 9 this evening along with thousands of others who will tune into the game, available to watch on RTÉ 2 and LOI TV that kicks off 7:45.

Off the back of a 0-0 encounter with Derry City and 2-2 against Drogheda United in Weavers Park last week, Shells will aim to evoke winning ways again and secure all three points tonight with what is now, a fully fit squad after they faced the plight of illness among players and staff over last two weeks.

With three big Dublin derbies to take place in Tolka Park over the next few weeks, the Reds will relish in the added significance tonight's game will play ahead of the encounters.

A win tonight is vital to Duffer's men as momentum, which has played a major role in Shell's success this season, will be crucial to his side ahead of their upcoming home fixtures against Shamrock Rovers and St Patrick's Athletic in the latter end of the month.

Damien Duff delivered a positive squad update when he spoke to ShelbourneFC.ie this week: “Coyler is grand, just cramp not a bother on him. He’s getting a bit of stick this week for that. Sean Gannon has been on the pitch, fingers crossed, touch wood he’ll come through and be fit for Friday.”

“It’s back to the Dublin Derbies, I guess no matter how much I and staff try to create that edge and emotion for when we play Dundalk or UCD, Galway or Derry to the day I die I’ll never be able to recreate it, I’m glad it’s come around I can’t wait to see a full and pumping Tolka, bring it on.”

“It’s always a fine line, Dublin Derby playing with the real edge and fire in your belly and a real calm as well, it sounds contradictory but trust me that’s what you need the fire and the ice, it’s up to the guys and us as a staff to feel the room, and know weather to prod them emotionally or try laugh and joke to try and take the sting out of it. We need to bring the fire but be calm footballers as well.”

“I take great pride in the togetherness we’ve created, the feel good factor, everyone loves seeing each other, players and staff. There’s a feel good vibe and emotion around the club,  how do we keep it here? By winning games. How do we win games? By working hard and having high bloody standards on and off the pitch.”


Bohemians make the short trip to Drumcondra this evening where they aim to take down league favourites and local rivals Shelbourne FC.

Alen Reynold's urges fans to keep the faith ahead of tonight's game, as he aims to turn the club's form around subsequent to his take over as head coach following the departure of Declan Devine last month.

Speaking with BohemiansFC.com Reynolds said: “The players need support and we need our fans to stick with us. There is obviously frustration this season, and we obviously all understand that.

“But we have some very good young players here, and a lot of new players too, who I feel can thrive if the fans stick with them as I have no doubt they will in what is a massive game now tonight.”

Currently, the Gypsies sit despondently in 8th place in the premier division, 11 points behind tonight's opponent who as of now, remains 6 points clear at the top.

Three wins, four losses and one draw doesn't spell the dream start for a league campaign, but Reynold's is adamant that he has the resources to turn the clubs 2024 campaign around.

“Shelbourne have really good players who are playing very well at the moment. They are top of the league for a reason, so we have to respect them as they have really good players who have shown they can hurt teams.

“But from our point of view, the most important thing is getting ourselves right. We have to deal with their attacking threats but we have to make sure we are an attacking threat ourselves," Reynolds added.

Unbeaten thus far, Shell's, who are off the back of two draws in games that you'd have expected them to win will be on the back foot tonight and will not be coming into this game as confident as they have been, as they will look to regather form again following their two-week illness spout.

The Gypsies on the other hand, are presented tonight with the perfect opportunity to kill two birds with one stone. Putting an end to Shelbourne's defeatless record and establishing form for the rest of their 2024 campaign.

“When you work for a big Dublin club like Bohs you realise how important all derby games are to the fans," Reynolds added.


Shelbourne 0 - 1 Bohemians



Injured: None

Suspended: None

Doubtful: Sean Gannon



Injured: Keith Buckley and Rob Cornwall

Suspended: None

Doubtful: Dylan Connolly