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Bohs winger receives Tunisia call-up for Africa Cup of Nations qualifier

Aymen Ben Mohamed will travel to Djibouti with the Tunisian squad for the game on 3 June.

Bohemians winger Aymen Ben Mohamed.
Bohemians winger Aymen Ben Mohamed.

AYMEN BEN MOHAMED could make his international debut next month.

The Bohemians winger has been called up to the Tunisia squad for their 2017 Africa Cup of Nations qualifier away to Djibouti on Friday, 3 June.

The news was confirmed on Bohs’ official website, with Ben Mohamed included in an 18-man squad which rules him out of the Gypsies’ games against St Patrick’s Athletic (29 May) and Wexford Youths (3 June).

Ben Mohamed joined Bohs for the 2016 season after impressing for Longford Town last year. The 21-year-old previously played for UCD, who he joined from St Joseph’s Boys.

Born in London to a Tunisian father and an Irish mother, Ben Mohamed was raised in Dublin and is currently two years into a four-year Business, Economics and Social Studies degree course at Trinity College.

Last year, Ben Mohamed played for a home-based Republic of Ireland U21 side, managed by Noel King, in a training game against the amateur international team.

Tunisia reached the quarter-finals of last year’s Africa Cup of Nations before being eliminated by hosts Equatorial Guinea.

In order to be guaranteed a place at next year’s tournament in Gabon, they must finish at the top of Group A but currently trail leaders Liberia by two points with two games remaining.

“I’m delighted,” Ben Mohamed told BohemianFC.com. “Nobody saw it coming. I’ve had lots of relatives on congratulating me. It’s huge for me and my family. It’s one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced in football.

“I’ll be training and competing with players from the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga. That is an incredible opportunity for me and it is good for the profile of the club and league too. It shows we have a good stage here to develop.”

Ben Mohamed is joined in the Tunisia squad by the likes of Sunderland midfielder Wahbi Khazri and Valencia defender Aymen Abdennour. Tunisia are 47th in the Fifa world rankings — the sixth-highest African country behind Algeria, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Senegal and Egypt.

“He’ll miss two games for us but it’s great for him and the club,” said Bohs manager Keith Long. “He’s been a real breath of fresh air and I’m delighted for him. He’s a real throwback to an old-school winger. He loves to take players on and he has a bit of pace about him too.

“He came to the club to improve and develop as a player, so it’s deserved recognition for the contribution he’s made.”

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Paul Dollery

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