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Dublin: 8°C Saturday 28 November 2020

Bohemians return to historical home in the Phoenix Park with the help of the FAI

The Dublin club’s schoolboy teams will play at the Fifteen Acres for the foreseeable future.

Bohemians President Matt Devaney (left) and Bohemians Youth Director Conor Emerson (right) at the Fifteen Acres site in Phoenix Park.
Bohemians President Matt Devaney (left) and Bohemians Youth Director Conor Emerson (right) at the Fifteen Acres site in Phoenix Park.

BOHEMIANS HAVE STRUCK an agreement with the FAI which will see their schoolboy and academy teams play home matches in the Phoenix Park.

The North Dublin club, which was first formed in the Gate Lodge section of the park back in 1890, have been looking for a permanent ground for their underage set-up.

The Fifteen Acres facility was being leased by the Leinster Senior League for a number of years, but the FAI has taken over the lease and allowed Bohs to move in.

“We needed to have a permanent base from which, we can grow our football club from,” said Bohemians President Matt Devaney. “To have this on our door-step, it’s a god-send for the club.

“We meet the FAI quite regularly and I happened to mention to Richard Fahey (FAI Director of Club Licensing and Facility Development) that we’re struggling for pitches as we’ve doubled the amount of teams we operate over the last few years.

“Richard was able to speak to John Delaney and thankfully, we’ve been able to get this all important move.

It’s a great time for the underage football in Ireland and it probably hasn’t got the media coverage it’s deserved. The changes to the underage structure are a game-changer for Irish football, anyone in the SSE Airtricity League would acknowledge that.”

Conor Emerson, the club’s Youth Director added: “This is an important part of our history as we’re rebuilding the youth section of the club.

“The SSE Airtricity League underage structure is also a huge help to our underage teams as we’ve been able to attract a certain standard of player.

“It won’t be long until we can offer the full path-way right through to the first-team which is really exciting. Phoenix Park is such a beautiful location which is very much in our locality with 12 full-size pitches so it’s ideal for the club to grow its youth section in.”

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Ben Blake

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