It would hardly be the first time that the word ‘stormy’ has been applied to a meeting of Shamrock Rovers and Bohemians but Hoops boss Stephen Bradley is concerned that the elements could have a significant impact on tomorrow afternoon’s first Dublin derby of the season at Dalymount Park.
“We’ll see what the weather is like but it’s meant to be really bad,” he says, as Storm Dennis is forecast to lash the capital.
“It might dictate what kind of game it’s going to be but we’ll have to wait and see.”
The chance for the arch-rivals to engage in an unlikely love-in on Valentine’s night was scuppered by security concerns but, with sold-out signs up and the RTÉ 2 cameras in place, the fact that this is now a stand-alone game in the SSE Airtricity League’s opening round of fixtures will serve only to concentrate even more attention on what is always an intense, high-profile affair.
“A Dublin derby is great to kick off a season,” says Bradley.
“There’s always a buzz around Dublin derbies and we’ve got a few of them this year with St Pat’s and Shelbourne back up there as well.
“We’re very happy with the squad.
“If we want to improve it we can do that at any point but we’re very pleased with the additions of Liam Scales and Rhys Marshall and how they’ve settled into the group.
“We want to better what we did last year, that’s the aim.”
The injured Sean Kavanagh aside, Bradley has a full squad from which to choose for the trip to the southside where the Phibsborough faithful, having relished seeing Keith Long’s youthful side punch above their weight to finish third in the top-flight last season, would love nothing more than to put a dent in the FAI Cup-holders’ title bid — and raise their own expectations for the season ahead — at the very first attempt.
Kick-off time at Dalymount Park is at 2pm and the match will be screened live on RTÉ 2.
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