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Bohemians' hat-trick hero admits he had a point to prove

Georgie Kelly starred against former club Dundalk on Monday evening.

Bohs’ Georgie Kelly celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick.
Bohs’ Georgie Kelly celebrates with the match ball after scoring a hat-trick.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

GEORGIE KELLY starred on Monday evening, as his first-ever Premier Division hat-trick was key to a 5-1 win for Bohemians over Dundalk.

The goals will have been all the sweeter for the 24-year-old Donegal native, as they came against the club that allowed him to leave prior to the start of the season.

A terrific goal-scoring run at UCD saw the forward join Dundalk in the summer of 2018, but he never fully established himself at the Lilywhites and linked up with Keith Long’s side after going on loan to St Patrick’s Athletic last year.

He admits the start to life at Bohs has been less than ideal — prior to Monday’s encounter, the Dublin club had picked up 14 points from 12 matches and were only ahead of the Lilywhites on goal difference.

“It’s been a bit frustrating in the last three or four weeks, I haven’t been getting a lot of luck, the keeper’s been pulling off saves and I haven’t scored in three or four weeks I think. It’s just a bit of relief is the emotion after that. There’s so much luck involved in games, I didn’t even have a great game tonight, and you come away scoring three. I think it’s just important to stick at it and keep going and they will fall for you. That’s the story here.”

He adds: “[The management] were always in my ear. Keith [Long] and Trevor [Croly] have always been at me, saying it’s key not to be getting frustrated and too down, because it can turn like that and they’re right, football is a strange game. You need to keep chipping away and luckily tonight, I got a few.” 

His hat-trick on Monday means Kelly is now joint-top scorer in the Premier Division on six goals, along with Finn Harps’ Adam Foley and Drogheda’s Mark Doyle.  

“Is that right?” he replied, when informed of this fact. “I didn’t know that. There mustn’t be many goals being scored. Jesus, I’ll take that.”

Like Kelly, Bohs in general have had a slightly frustrating start to the season — but the striker believes the club are better than their current position of sixth suggests, citing Friday’s 2-1 loss to St Pat’s as a game that they deserved a more favourable result from.

“We dominated Pat’s, who are a good side, so that was the one thing we took from it. We weren’t too disappointed and deflated when we came in Saturday, because if we had gotten the rub of the green — we hit the crossbar twice and I missed the penalty — the result could have gone differently.

“When you’re doing the right things and performing well, the results will come. The points will come. Hopefully, we will start climbing the table and start challenging the top two or three.”

As well as Kelly, another player who has had a positive impact, since joining from Celtic prior to the start of the season, is Liam Burt, who had a hand in all three of the striker’s goals on Monday.

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“Liam is brilliant. He is a real bag of energy. I’m living with Liam, so there’s a good connection there. Against Longford as well [he made an assist], so Liam has played a part in quite a few of my goals. It’s something we’re working on.”

And did Kelly feel like he had a point to prove against Dundalk, who may now be rueing the decision to let him leave last December.

 “A little bit. You always do, it’s always in the back of your mind, you want to perform against the best team in the country for the past five or six years. I’ve been there a couple of years and I know everyone in the backroom staff, so it does give you that little edge when you play them.

“I don’t regret my time there. I felt like I did well. When I got chances, I scored a few goals and I enjoyed it. But it was just the right time to move on. I don’t hold anything against anyone there. It probably was the right time in my career to move on and go and play somewhere and be a more prominent figure.”

He continues: “I’m 24 now, but this is probably my first real season playing week in, week out. I spent nearly three years at Dundalk and never really played back-to-back games. So I am still learning. My body is still trying to adapt to how to prep for games. It feels like my first season in the League of Ireland. So it will take time and hopefully I will grow into it and start chipping away even more. I feel like I’ve loads more to give. I don’t think I’m where I need to get to yet. Hopefully I can kick on as the season goes on.”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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