Graham Cummins: If I was a Bohs player, I'd be touting myself around

That might sound deceitful considering they are still being paid by Bohs, but the longer they wait, the more likely it is that other suitors will use their budgets on different players.
Graham Cummins: If I was a Bohs player, I'd be touting myself around

STICK OR TWIST: Bohemians supporters at Dalymount Park in Dublin. Pic: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The longer Bohemians take to appoint a new manager, the greater the risk  of them losing several of their first team squad. With just over a month remaining in the season, players will be anxious about their futures. Clubs will be tying up players with new contracts in the coming weeks but I imagine that will not be the case at Bohs until a new manager is appointed. Even then, a new manager would be keen to assess his squad until the end of the season before rewarding players with a new deal.

However, those Bohs players cannot gamble on that. If another club make them an offer now, my advice would be to take it, even if they would prefer to stay with Dalymount. Until a contract is put in front of a player, I would take everything you hear with a pinch of salt. The Bohs players should be touting their names to other clubs. That might sound deceitful considering they are still being paid by Bohs, but the longer they wait, the more likely it is that other suitors will use their budgets on different players.

Of course you can't just ring the manager of another manager and ask if he would be interested in signing you. Usually, the first step is to ring a player - someone you trust - at the club and ask him to have a word and drop a hint or two. Guage the interest. Finding a new club in Ireland isn’t like in the UK, where it's much easier. Most players don’t have an agent who can act on their behalf and do the ‘dirty work’. In Ireland; a player relies heavily on former teammates to secure a deal elsewhere.

The Bohs players will be reading every day about potential managers, and I imagine the name most spoken about in the dressing room would be Richard Dunne. The former international would command immediate respect because of what he achieved in his playing career. Players are desperate to please someone who has played at the highest level. 

That's not saying they aren't keen to impress someone like Vinny Perth or Derek Pender but praise from someone who has made over 400 Premier League appearances is more satisfying.

Younger players will be aware of the contacts Dunne has if they do well for him. A glowing report from a former Premier League player is going to stand to a player much more than from someone who hasn’t reached the levels Dunne did.

The Bohs board will take all this into consideration. Every League of Ireland club is a selling one. They might vent their frustration when players are snatched by clubs across the water but deep down they are smiling. Selling a player to the UK can make the difference in a club staying afloat. Being able to reach out to potential buyers in the UK could be one of Dunne’s big selling points for the job. Although every club wants to win trophies, football clubs are a business and more often than not, the priority is the bottom line.

Bohs players would be satisfied if caretaker boss Pender gets the job full-time, I feel. Of course there are complications - Pender’s lack of coaching qualifications - but those are issues that can be easily solved, as we have seen in the past with Stephen O’Donnell. 

Pender has done respectably in his brief time in charge. The 38-year-old has won two of his three league games, including beating Shamrock Rovers, but the defeat against Shelbourne will increase scrutiny around him. 

The caretaker manager labelled his side’s performance ‘disgraceful and embarrassing’ following that defeat. Many managers would be fearful of criticising their players so publicly because players rarely appreciate being shamed publicly by someone who is meant to fight their corner. 

However, their subsequent victory over Finn Harps suggests they respect Pender. They could have easily downed tools, but instead they responded to the criticism and it suggests they are fighting to help Pender land the manager’s role full-time.

The Bohs job is an attractive job and understandably the board need to do their due diligence before making a permanent appointment. However the longer they wait, the more harm they could be doing to preparations for next season.

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