Fenlon has full faith in Fagan
HE'S THE player who left Manchester United and lost his way, but Bohemians manager Pat Fenlon believes that he can get the best out of his new signing, Chris Fagan.
The former Ireland U21 cap and United trainee has been confirmed as one of seven new signings for Bohs.
Last season's league runners-up are finally in a position to sign players after settling their affairs with former players, while five members of last season's squad have also been re-signed.
Aidan Price and Robert Bayly moved to Bohs from league winners Shamrock Rovers, Ger O'Brien joins from Sporting Fingal and Liam Burns returns after a two-year spell with Dundalk.
Ireland U19 cap Danny Joyce has joined Bohs on loan from Reading, while ex-Shels and Dundalk striker Anto Flood returns to the LOI after a spell in Sweden with Orebro, and Dubliner Fagan arrives at Dalymount after spells in England, Spain and Scotland.
Also confirmed was the fact that Owen Heary, Mark Rossiter, Chris O'Connor, Glenn Cronin and Gary Burke will be at Bohs again next season.
It's a new era for Bohs as the playing budget for 2011 -- estimated at €250,000 for the season -- is a fraction of the €2m-plus which was spent on wages in the boom years.
Fenlon admits that it will be a challenge to get a team ready on a small budget when he's weeks behind in terms of pre-season training.
"We are behind the eight-ball in terms of our preparations for the season, but we want to be competitive on the park," says Fenlon.
"I know some of the supporters are happy that the club is just still around but hopefully they'll see that we've signed some decent players and that we will compete next season.
"We're not spending huge money and the budget that the club have given me is well within our means.
While players like Burns and O'Brien arrive at Bohs with good LOI pedigrees, Fenlon admits that the game has yet to see the best of former U21 star Fagan.
The former Home Farm lad spent four years at United but since leaving Old Trafford in 2008 has had unsatisfactory spells in Scotland (Hamilton) and England (Lincoln) as well as two stints in the lower leagues of Spain.
"Chris lost his way a bit after he left United but I think he can be a very good player for us," says Fenlon.
"His ability is not in doubt and his touch is first class, amazing, he has great awareness on the ball. He needs to be built up a little bit, as he has taken a few knocks in the last few years. He was talked about a lot when he was a schoolboy and then when he went to United, but that can be a real burden on young kids.
"But if Chris can focus on his game and get going, he will be good for us."
Meanwhile, the FAI confirmed that Bohs' game at home to Portadown in the Setana Sports Cup, due to be played next Monday, will go ahead on Tuesday March 1.
Fenlon could add some more exotic signings to his squad. Trialists from Hungary and Spain could end up getting contract offers from the Gypsies boss. Midfielder Robert Kovacs impressed while training with Bohs last season. He returned to Dublin today in a bid to win a contract from Fenlon.
The Bohs boss is also running his eye over former Spanish U21 international Felipe Guerendez. Meanwhile, Sligo Rovers have made another addition to their squad with the signing of keeper Brendan Clarke from Sporting Fingal. The former St Pats man made 17 league appearances for Fingal last season.