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'He's a throwback' - The former Celtic youngster making a big impact in Ireland

Liam Burt has impressed since joining Bohemians.

Liam Burt pictured playing for Bohemians against Dundalk on Monday.
Liam Burt pictured playing for Bohemians against Dundalk on Monday.
Image: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

HIS HOUSEMATE Georgie Kelly inevitably grabbed the headlines on Monday, but Liam Burt produced a similarly influential display as Bohemians trounced Dundalk 5-1.

Burt had a hand in all three of Kelly’s goals, and the Glasgow-born former Celtic and Rangers youngster is looking like an astute signing, having joined Bohs prior to the start of the season.

Burt made his senior debut for Rangers in 2016 at the age of 17, but largely struggled to secure regular first-team football in Scotland, aside from loan spells at Dumbarton and Alloa Athletic.

Now 22, he is starting to flourish after being given a run of games by Keith Long at Bohs.

“Bringing any player in, there’s always a little bit of risk,” says Long. “I think Liam has shown the benefit of playing football matches. He hadn’t played a consistent run of games for a long time.

“It’s a gamble always when you bring players in, whether they fit into your dressing room and the club. But Liam has been very good. He’s a clever footballer. He’s a throwback in terms of quality — his touch is sublime. He’s got the ability to take on a defender and he’s got an end product with goals and assists this year.

“So he’s been really good and he’s grown as the team’s got better. I don’t think you can underestimate his influence on the team in terms of how well he’s played and how well he’s made us play.

“We did as much homework as we possibly could on the player before he arrived and lots of footage. I spoke to a number of his coaches previously. So as much due diligence as we could do was done on Liam. He’s come in and he’s getting his rewards for a run of games in the team for us now, which is fantastic.”

One beneficiary of Burt’s fine form is, of course, Kelly, whose hat-trick on Monday left him joint top of the scoring charts on six goals.

“His overall game has been good and it’ll do wonders for his confidence,” Long adds. “He’s on six goals for the season, he should have more, but hopefully he’ll grow confidence and belief from [Monday night]. His all-around game is really good. Is it a perfect hat-trick? A header, a left footer and right footer, so it’s a good return for him.”

In general, the Bohs squad is looking healthy and boasts players who are widely considered as being among the most exciting crop of youngsters in Irish football.

Dawson Devoy and Andy Lyons were both included in the Ireland U21 squad on Tuesday, while boss Jim Crawford admitted Ross Tierney was unlucky to narrowly miss out.

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20-year-old attacker Promise Omochere, meanwhile, came off the bench to register his Premier Division goal for Bohs in stoppage time against the Lilywhites.

“You look at Dawson, Rossie, they’ve all come through our partnership with Kevin’s, although Promise is slightly different, he came through a different club [St Joseph's Boys].

“Sean Grehan on the bench as well — so we have good players coming in behind. And I think that shows the health of the club really. And that’s something that we want to try and improve if we can to bring them into the first-team and transition. We don’t want to just give them token gesture minutes — we want to give them decent game time. I think we’ve proven over the last couple of years that we’re prepared to do that if the players are ready or good enough. We’ll reward that energy that young players bring to that team and give them a go.”

Bohs next host bottom-of-the-table Waterford on Saturday. Stephen Mallon and James Finnerty could feature as they continue their recuperation from injury, while Rob Cornwall and Keith Buckley are doubts, having both missed the Dundalk game. Tyreke Wilson is also set to miss out due to suspension, after being sent off for two yellows on Monday.

In general though, the outlook is positive for Bohs, who have enjoyed an upturn in fortune of late and could potentially go fifth win a victory at the weekend.

“We drew a line in the sand over the first series of games, we were disappointed with our points return. But we’ve won three out of four games in the second phase so far. Hopefully, we can finish off with a win before the mid-season break.”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy

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