Keith Long is desperate for some silverware with Bohemians.
Bohemians boss Keith Long is hoping that his side can deliver their first major trophy for the first time since 2008 as they take on Dublin rivals St Patrick’s Athletic in the FAI Cup final on Sunday.
Bohs come into the game having missed out on reaching European qualification via their league position. But should the Gypsies win on Sunday, they will play European football for the third year on the trot.
Since their last cup final appearance, Bohs have been on the brink, with Sunday’s game giving Long, and his players, the chance to reward those who have stuck by the club.
Keith Long on the FAI Cup final.
“We’re looking forward to Sunday because we want to win something,” Long stressed. “We want to cap off this season because we can look at all the years that I have been at this club but the players haven’t been there all the years.
“This is a new dressing room and every year the dressing room changes. This is a new group and our group for 2021 that are looking forward to playing in a cup final.
“It won’t be vindication for me and my staff for the work that we have done over six or seven years at the club. It will be vindication for this team and how well they can perform on the big stage.”
In the 2021 season, Bohs have reached new heights in Europe, but they have often flattered to deceive in league action throughout the year.
While they may have disappointed somewhat in that sense, they do have one of the youngest sides in the Premier Division, with talent bursting at the seams everywhere.
“Sunday will be a real test for us because St Patrick’s Athletic are a really good side and they will be relishing this opportunity as well,” Long adds.
“We can’t just turn up, we have to perform at a really high level. It’s not about what has been before and what has come and gone.
“This is an opportunity for us on Sunday to lift silverware and give the people that have worked so hard over difficult years, a little bit of reward and thanks for their efforts.
“This team is an exciting team. We’ve got talented players in the team, and if we turn up and excite while embracing the occasion and the atmosphere, I think we are going to see an exciting game.”
During the summer months, Long, and Bohs enjoyed some of their finest days together at the Aviva Stadium.
But despite their familiarity with the Dublin 4 venue, Long is wary that it will count for nothing when the two Dublin rivals face off at the Aviva.
“We had a good summer at the Aviva Stadium, but that counts for nothing now,” he explains. “It’s good that we have that experience and understanding of what it is like to be there.
“We trained and played there a number of times this year which is a good experience for the players.
“It was a great experience and challenge for the boys in European competition, and I thought we played really well in those games.
“But it is a different game on Sunday. Whilst the experience of the summer will help us in one way, I don’t think it will count for anything on Sunday.”
The Countdown to Sunday ⏲️
𝗪𝗵𝗲𝗻 @bfcdublin 𝗹𝗮𝘀𝘁 𝗹𝗶𝗳𝘁𝗲𝗱 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝘁𝗿𝗼𝗽𝗵𝘆 – 𝟮𝟬𝟬𝟴 🏆
Get your tickets for the https://t.co/pJ9AzyZEux FAI Cup Final now 👇
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