Mid-season Report Card - Bohemians

Fri, Jun 29 2018

Teenager Eoghan Stokes has shown promise since his winter arrival from Leeds United. Credit: Martin Doherty (ETPhotos)

Club: Bohemians

Manager: Keith Long

Stadium: Dalymount Park

Highest attendance this season: 3,640 (vs Shamrock Rovers, February 16th)

Highest league goalscorer: Dan Casey (4)

Mid-season position: 8th

How we thought they would do

Our extratime.ie staff predictions from before the season began saw Bohemians firmly in mid-table in sixth position.

How they really have done

Bohs lie in eighth, three points above Limerick in the relegation play-off spot.

Moment of the season so far

While Bohs have picked up just 21 points from 66 so far this season, a remarkable seven of those points have come from three games with cross-town rivals Shamrock Rovers. A brace from top scorer Dan Casey and another from Paddy Kavanagh helped Bohs to an opening day win at Dalymount Park, but the moment of the season was surely the return fixture in Tallaght in March. Having fallen behind to an early Dan Carr goal, Dan Byrne equalised before full-back Darragh Leahy scored the winner deep into second-half injury time, sending the visiting supports into raptures.

Star Player: Dylan Watts

It's amazing to think that, at the start of the season, midfielder Watts struggled to get minutes for the Gypsies. 21-year-old Watts arrived on loan from Leicester City but had experience of the League of Ireland from his previous stint with UCD. And it was in an EA Sports Cup tie against his former club that Watts stuck his hand up for permanent selection and he's been a revelation since, which led him to a nomination for player of the month in April.

Surprise star player: Daniel Grant

Chances are, at the beginning of the season, few even among Bohs fans would have been aware of 18-year-old Grant. The winger arrived a year ago from Bangor Celtic but was restricted to under-19 action. This season has seen him step up to the first team and become a regular fixture in Keith Long's side, with a well-taken brace in the 2-0 win in Sligo in May his personal highlight.

Young player: Daniel Grant

There's a lot to be said for the element of surprise in this league and Grant certainly brought that in, with his electric pace and positivity causing problems for even the most experienced full-backs in the league. If he continues to develop at the current rate, Grant will be a very important part of Bohs' campaign to pull clear of the relegation scrap in the final four months of the season.

Star signing: Eoghan Stokes

With Dinny Corcoran struggling with niggling injuries this season and Ryan Swan out for the year with cruciate damage, there was some concern about where Bohemians' goal threat would come from. Former Leeds striker Stokes was on trial with Shamrock Rovers early in pre-season before opting to sign on with Bohemians, and he's performed in a range of positions across the frontline where needed, scoring three times. It hasn't all been plain sailing for the Dubliner, who has been dropped on a couple of occasions, but the cocky teenager has shown enough to suggest he has a big future at Dalymount Park.

What they need to do in the transfer market

The loss of Dylan Watts might look the most immediate area of concern for Keith Long, but the absence of a regular goalscorer (defender Dan Casey is top scorer with just four goals) is the primary reason for Bohs' struggles this season. With Dinny Corcoran and Eoghan Stokes scoring just three each this season, a dependable finisher to compliment the pair should be the first player on the shopping list.

Where we see them finishing

Bohemians are too good to get dragged into the relegation scrap until the end of the season, but the aforementioned goalscoring troubles will make it difficult to pull away quickly. Keeping pace with the resurgent Sligo Rovers in seventh should be a priority, and closing the gap on St Patrick's Athletic in sixth, beginning with Friday's derby, is within their power.