Saturday 22 October 2016

Bohs is a glove affair: Supple

Bohemians v Shamrock Rovers (7.45pm)

Bohemians goalkeeper Shane Supple will face Shamrock Rovers in tonight’s Dublin derby at Dalymount Park
Bohemians goalkeeper Shane Supple will face Shamrock Rovers in tonight’s Dublin derby at Dalymount Park

It's all about the Bohs and not the Dubs for keeper Shane Supple as the in-demand former U21 cap says he had no doubts about reaffirming his commitment to the Phibsboro club.

Bohs fans will see their heroes on home soil for the final time this season in tonight's derby clash with Shamrock Rovers, a revamped fixture list leaving the Gypsies with three straight away games after this.

Whatever changes happen in the off season, one man who will be returning in 2017 is Supple, who has established himself as first choice keeper since a summer move from Crumlin United.

Other League of Ireland clubs had been linked with Supple while a return to the Dublin senior panel was also talked about in GAA circles, but the local lad says there was only one place he wanted to be next year.

"I am happy there so there was no reason for me to leave," he told The Herald.

"You hear all this talk about this club or that club being interested but I heard nothing concrete and I was just happy to stay at Bohs. Keith Long was great to me when I came here first, it was a big deal for me that he allowed me to continue playing Gaelic football for my club so I wanted to repay Keith as well. The fans have been great to me and I wanted to stay for their sake too.

"I am enjoying it at Bohs, it's a big club. At the moment it's not where it should be but I'd hope that in a couple of years Bohs can back up there challenging again, and I want to be part of that. You look where Dundalk were four years ago and where they are now, I grew up around the corner, it's a club I know well and I would love to see Bohs being capable of winning things."

Still playing senior Gaelic football for St Brigid's and a former member of the Dubs senior panel, Supple (29) has been mentioned as a possible successor to Stephen Cluxton (34) but that's not for him.

"The Dubs will never happen for me, I have let that go," Supple says. "It's been a couple of years since I was involved, I gave it a go and enjoyed my time there but it's done for me now.

"Gaelic football is still a big thing for me, I can understand that some managers in the league wouldn't be keen on one of their players playing club GAA too but Keith and Bohs are very understanding, it's not always easy and I might have to tailor it a bit better next season."

This has been an up and down season for the Gypsies where the longest winning streak was two games. European qualification is out of the question but Supple hopes that a win at home to Rovers can finish off the home part of the season in style.

"Rovers had a couple of wins over Bohs this season, before I came to the club, so we owe them one," he says. "There's nothing at stake for us in terms of the title or Europe but it's the biggest derby there is, it would be massive for the fans if we can get a win over Rovers.

"This hasn't been a great season for the fans but they have stuck by the team and the manager, and we want to win tonight for them."

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