With an Eircom League medal already pocketed Stephen O’Donnell’s lust for further success isn’t waning. Friday evening by the banks of the Camac offered ample proof that an industrious Bohemians’ midfield is the most effective in the country as St Patrick’s Athletic were thumped by the formidable Gypsies.
O’Donnell’s enthusiasm and craft was so effective alongside Gary Deegan, who supplied similar energy and relentlessness to vex the locals. Even when Keith Fahey clipped home a splendid strike early in the second period Bohemians knew that sufficient damage had been inflicted during a three-goal first-half flurry.
That was testament to O’Donnell’s and Deegan’s endeavour in the centre of the park. It is no surprise to Terryland Park regulars that Deegan is now being lavished with praise following the switch to Bohemians.
During a brief stint with Galway Deegan demonstrated enough passion and purpose to suggest that all the components needed at this level were within his remit. Anybody who plays with stamina, spirit and skill has a chance of succeeding, and O’Donnell and Deegan possess these traits in abundance. Few teams can match the heart and hunger of Bohemians’ dynamic duo.
O’Donnell continues to shine and a return across the channel would provide an appropriate canvas on which to exhibit his talents. Craving the combat that life as an anchorman brings, O’Donnell sought to perform frequently in his favoured position and opted to make the brave decision of leaving Falkirk in the SPL. Now firmly established in the most adept partnership domestically, O’Donnell has the ability to carve out a sound career in the English Football League.
These really are interesting times for Galwegian footballers. Sport is all about timing, and two other Galwegians, David Forde and Colin Hawkins, are now being rewarded across the pond.
Imposing goalkeeper Forde has been a prominent contributor in Millwall’s smashing League One start as the Lions really are beginning to roar again. Brighton & Hove Albion have enjoyed productive results too, with Hawkins earning the respect of the Division for his accomplishment. Brighton manager Mickey Adams clearly believes in Hawkins and this knowledge is aiding the defender, who is relishing the challenge.
As news filtered through last week about Ger Hanley, Stevie Folan, and Billy Lane all earning inclusion in Republic of Ireland under-age squads there were several reasons for optimism. Yesterday Niamh Fahey and Meabh de Burca were in Noel King’s plans for a critical UEFA Championships qualifier, adding to the feel good factor.
Solid foundations are being laid throughout the town and county by progressive clubs, who must seek to supplement the progress that is being made. Forde, Hawkins, and O’Donnell are worthy role models as anyone earning a living in the cut and thrust of the professional game deserves to be valued.