Bohs’ development skills nets a dividend as O’Hora signs for MK Dons

by Dave Donnelly

Bohemians are set for a five-figure payout after defender Warren O’Hora completed a permanent move from Brighton & Hove Albion to MK Dons last week.

The sale has triggered the resale clause in the deal that took the centre-half from Phibsboro to the south coast of England in 2017 and completes a bumper year for fees to the club.

Bohs have already benefitted from the €17 million sale of Matt Doherty from Wolverhampton Wanderers to Tottenham Hotspur, on which the club had a 10% resale clause.

And winger Danny Grant last month sealed a move to Championship club Huddersfield Town for a six-figure fee as the Gypsies’ on-field success has attracted suitors for some of their top players.

21-year-old O’Hora was one of the first to profit from the club’s renaissance under manager Keith Long, who has led the club to successive third and second-placed finishes.

Bohs have qualified for Europe for two seasons in succession, which will net the club a further minimum of €500,000 over two years.

Former St Kevin’s Boys man O’Hora has benefitted from spending the first half of this season on loan in Milton Keynes.

There, he played alongside ex-Ireland international Richard Keogh, who has himself earned a move back to the second tier with Huddersfield.

“I’m over the moon. I’ve enjoyed my time with the club ever since I arrived back in pre-season, so I’m happy to be here on a permanent basis,” said O’Hora.

“I’m certainly enjoying my football here and hopefully that’s showing on the pitch. Obviously now I want to get back on the pitch after my little injury setback.

“Every footballer wants to keep improving and developing, and I think MK Dons is the best place for me to do that.

“It’s a big ambition of mine to keep moving forward and I know I can do that with this club – I’m really excited for the future.”

Also on the move as the transfer window opened in England is Ireland under-21 defender Conor Masterson, who has joined Swindon Town on loan until the summer.

The ex-Liverpool centre-half has joined from Queen’s Park Rangers and will link up with his former Lucan United teammate Mark Travers, who joined on loan from Bournemouth.

Former Cabinteely and UCD winger Simon Power has made a permanent move to League Two outfit Harrogate Town after cutting ties with Norwich City.

The 22-year-old spent the first half of the season on loan with King’s Lynn Town but has made the jump up to league football with the newly-promoted Sulphurites.

On the domestic front, Bohemians have fought off competition from St Patrick’s Athletic to sign former Limerick and Waterford midfielder Bastien Hery.

The Frenchman, a former Paris Saint-Germain youth player, joins the Gypsies after spending the past 18 months up north with Linfield, with whom he won a Premiership title.

And Shamrock Rovers midfielder Brandon Kavanagh will spend the 2021 campaign on loan with Bray Wanderers in the First Division.

The former Bohemians man was the Hoops’ second string’s top scorer in the First Division last season with nine goals in 16 games.

Another player set to leave Rovers II is 16-year-old Kevin Zefi, who became the Hoops’ youngest-ever scorer in the league last season, as he looks set to complete a move to Inter Milan.

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