Who: Bohemians v Thór Akureyri,
Where: Europa League, first qualifying round, first leg,
When: Tonight, Dalymount Park, 7.45pm
BOHS ASSISTANT BOSS Owen Heary says the Gypsies young squad are relishing the new challenge of European football.
The Phibsboro club take on Icelandic side Thór Akureyri at Dalymount Park in their first Europa League qualifier.
“For most of them this is the first time in Europe and they will be up for it. They will be fully focused and will give a good account of themselves,” said Heary, who is still very much part of the playing staff of course.
“Nothing is won on paper,” he added. “Look at last Friday’s result. Rovers looked better on paper, with more experienced players. Go back to the TNS game [in the Champions League in 2010]. We were the better team on paper and we got hammered.”
Thór Akureyri are based in the northern port town of Akureyri and qualified for the Europa League as (losing) cup finalists last year. Starting their 2012 season in May Thór have won four of their eight league games to date and lie fourth in the second division table. Last Friday, they were beaten 2-0 by Vikingur Rekjavik, one of the several teams from the capital city in the three Icelandic leagues, and a week earlier lost 3-2 to their local rivals, KA.
Bohemians come to the first leg of this Europa League tie boosted by last Friday’s rout of cross-town rivals Shamrock Rovers.
“It was just reward for all the effort and application the lads have put in since the start of the season,” said manager Aaron Callaghan.
“From my point of view to see the four goals going in gives you confidence that you are doing things the right way. But I have to get the lads grounded for the next few games because it is still only three points.”
Bohs may be without striker Dinny Corcoran who injured his shoulder last Friday but Derek Pender has returned to training following a calf strain and he should be available. Dwayne Wilson suffered cramp on Friday but should also be fit for selection following an impressive first starting appearance as striker. Forward Davie Byrne has left Bohemians in the transfer window and Callaghan is seeking loan arrangements for some of the younger players who are not getting first-team action.