Thursday 18 April 2019

Powell poised for Royals bid

CHAMPIONSHIP side Reading are poised to make a move for Bohemians defender Conor Powell after the U21 cap was released by the Dublin club.

And he could be joined in the Championship by Bohs team-mate Aaron Greene as Preston North End are ready to renew their interest in the striker.

Last Friday was an emotional night for full back Powell as he made his last appearance for the club in their 3-1 win over Dundalk -- despite his age (23) he was the longest-serving player at the club, having made his debut in 2005.

But the former Belvedere player is out of contract and the cash-strapped Dalymount club cannot afford to offer new deals to any of their players.

A number of League of Ireland clubs are already tracking Powell, who was capped nine times at U21 level, and he could also follow the example of former LOI players like Anto Flood (now in Sweden) and Padraig Amond (now in Portugal) if a move to the continent is on offer, but Reading will also try and bring Powell in if they can accommodate him in their squad.

"I don't know what my next move will be, if I can get a club in England that would be great but I'm happy to go anywhere and try my luck, I just want to stay full time," says Powell, who won two league titles in his six seasons with Bohs. "I have seen people go to England from the League of Ireland and play at a high level so maybe I will get the chance to do that. I will take a holiday now, I need a break after the season we had. I didn't really want to leave Bohs, they were my first club, I was there for a long time and have a lot of happy memories but the way things are with the finances, there was no way they could keep the players on.

"I don't know what the club have planned in terms of the future and getting a team together, but it seems that I am finished with the club. I played in the game on Friday, I am out of contract now and there was no talk about a new contract or staying on.


"Friday was an emotional night for me, six seasons is a long time to be with the one club, but you have to move on," added Powell, who made 119 league appearances for the Gypsies.

"Last season was very tough, physically and mentally, the whole experience with TNS and then losing to Galway and effectively losing the league was hard to take. We had a great chance to win the league with two games to go but we let it slip in Galway and we have only ourselves to blame for not winning it."

Bohs are in for a hard winter as the club will begin talks with their contracted players tomorrow about how the board will try to find their way out of the current crisis, and Powell says the short-term future is bleak.

"It looks like the next year or two will be difficult for the club, it seems as if most -- if not all -- of the senior players will go and the coaching staff have gone as well, so that puts it up to the younger players at the club to step up. But there is some great young talent at Bohs, lads like Lee Dixon and Gary Burke played for the first team last season and if Bohs can keep hold of them and add a bit more experience, they will do okay in the long-term."

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