By Rory Merriman
St Patrick’s Athletic face Bohemians on Sunday in what is a highly anticipated FAI Cup final.
More than 37,000 fans will make their way to the Aviva on Sunday as the Gypsies fervently aim to break a 14-year dry spell and seize FAI Cup success once more, as they seek out revenge on Dublin rivals following a defeat to the saints in the FAI Cup final in 2021.
Jon Daly’s side secured themselves third place in the league campaign following a 3-0 defeat to Derry City in the Brandywell stadium last Friday.
While St Pat’s earned themselves a ticket to European football next year, the sombre Dublin 7 side placed 8th in the 10 man table.
With the Dublin derby set to deliver, Gypsie captain Keith Buckley and saints cult hero, Chris Forrester will be a match up worth tuning in for in the midfield area of the park.
With both goalkeepers successfully defending 12 clean sheets each for their sides in the league this season, Bohemians’ James Talbot and St Patrick’s player of the year Dean Lyness are hoping to seal another for their sides.
Boh’s dangerman Jonathan Afolabi will also be one to watch, bagging himself the league of Ireland, golden boot this season with 15 goals to his name, alongside Shelbourne’s Jack Moylan, who equalled his scoring tally.
Returning from injury following a 16-match absence, St Patrick’s captain, Joe Redmond is set for stellar end to his season, accompanied by ex-Bohs left back, Anto Breslin and 17-year-old Navan native right back, Sam Curtis.
“I’m just really looking forward to the game day to be honest. It does feel like a bit of a long week in the build-up and stuff, as they say you should try and enjoy it, I’m just more focused on Sunday and getting going with the atmosphere, that’ll be electric from both sets of fans,” said Redmond.
With the Inchicore side defeating Bohemians twice out of their last three encounters 3-2 and 2-0, the 23-year-old revealed, “We know what dangers they can possess, we know how we can nullify that. We can cause them problems and if we go out there with the right game plan on Sunday and pull out what we’re working on we should be giving ourselves the best opportunity to go and win the game.”
Off the back of the win against Cork City in their final league game of the Season, Bohs will be eager to get their hands on some form of silverware this season and finish the 2022/23 season off successfully.
While St Pat’s failed to disrupt and chase down Shamrock Rovers in the final stretch of their title chase, securing Europe doesn’t quite satisfy the Dublin 8 side’s captain.
“That’s [European football] the minimum standard you require to be a Pat’s player, so now winning the FAI Cup would be the cherry on top.”
Adam McDonnell poses for a portrait during a Bohemians media day, at Dalymount Park.
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