Friday 28 October 2016

Akinade deal boosts Euro hopefuls Bohs

Bohs’ Ismahil Akinade
Bohs’ Ismahil Akinade

A european place for next year would be the perfect finish to the season for Bohemians, but there's already been a boost ahead of 2016 as key striker Ismahil Akinade has agreed terms on a new deal.

A side which flirted with relegation last season, Bohs can still achieve Europa League qualification, if they win at home to Cork City in the season finale tonight and also if St Patrick's Athletic lose away to Galway United.

It's a bit of a long shot for Keith Long's side as it's hard to see St Pats losing a third successive game, though Bohs are capable of doing their bit as, with three straight wins to their credit, they're the most in-form side in the league.

Former Bray striker Akinade played a big part in that success since his mid-season move with 10 goals in 18 games. He had been strongly linked with a move away but he has agreed to remain on at Dalymount Park, and boss Long is clearly pleased.

"He has been improving with us, playing with better players and getting better service. He has repaid the faith the club has shown in him. He is a big part of why we are in the position we are in now," says Long.

"Izzy has been exceptional for us. He works extremely hard. He's got pace and power. He's got that pure physicality that defenders do not like."

Cork boss John Caulfield is aware of the Gypsy threat. "Bohemians have put themselves in a fantastic position and they have a real opportunity if they can beat us, but we want to see if we can get a win and box off second place," said Caulfield.

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