Club captain Derek Pender is pleased to have Bohemiams “back where they belong” in Europe before he hangs up his boots after Sligo Rovers visit Dalymount Park tomorrow night.
The 35-year-old left-back has been with the club since January of 2012.
In a career that’s spanned 17 years, Pender has played over 200 games for Bohs.
He also played for Shelbourne (including loan spells at both Crusaders and Dundalk), Dublin City, Shamrock Rovers, Bray Wanderers and St Patrick’s Athletic.
Pender said of his time at Bohs: “The biggest highlight for me has been to captain this club. I’ve been here eight years, the start was obviously tough, the club was in a bit of disarray at that time.
“Thankfully, the members and all the supporters have got it back to where it is.
"Here we are today, qualified for Europe with a game to go. It’s great.”
Some interested spectators at Dalymount Park tomorrow night will be his wife Jennifer and their two kids, who will watch him play for the very first time.
It is with great regret that we announce that our captain and leader Derek Pender will tomorrow play his final game for the club as he decides to retire from playing football: https://t.co/jZffOXNf8a— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) October 24, 2019
From all at #Bohs, thank you for everything, Detser. 💔🖤 pic.twitter.com/GaxzcOssjN
“Jennifer has been behind me since I was at Belvedere under 14s,” Pender said.
Manager Keith Long added: “He feels that it’s the right time to hang up his boots. He’s been a fantastic captain for us. Ultimately it’s Derek’s decision to retire, he owes the club nothing.
"He’s been a fantastic captain, a fantastic servant to the team. We wish him the best of luck.”
“He has a great attitude, always wants to win. He drives our dressing room, he has done for years. He’ll be a big loss for us.
"A huge void to try and fill. He has huge desire, commitment, and he’s as brave as a lion. He’s such a competitor, a real leader.
A point in tomorrow night's game will secure third place for Bohs, which would be their best finish since 2010, when they finished second on goal difference to great rivals Shamrock Rovers.
Long also announced that both striker Dinny Corcoran and defender Rob Cornwall have extended their contracts until the end of the 2020 season.