Young guns firing Bohs to Europe

WING MAN: Bohs’ Luke Wade-Slater. Photo by Ben McShane/Sportsfile

Bohemians winger Luke Wade-Slater says the old pals act is working out just fine for his side as Keith Long's in-form team keep up their challenge for a return to the European stage.

Fresh from Friday's 2-1 win away to Waterford, Bohs do battle tonight, at home to a Derry City side who are just behind Bohs in the race for Europe, a season-defining game, according to Wade-Slater. "This game tonight is massive, we could either put a gap between ourselves and Derry or let them get close to us if they beat us, this is one of the biggest games of the season for us, Derry are a strong side, we were lucky to get a draw at home to them a while back," says Wade-Slater.

He has come through a spell on the sidelines to emerge as a key figure for Bohs lately, as he lost his place in the side and was even dropped from the match-day squad at one point.

But the St Kevin's Boys product, who joined Bohs from Stevenage, says it's all part of growing up in a tough league. "I knew before I came here that you'd have ups and downs, you have to bite your tongue and get on with it, and we are all learning that," he says.

"When I was out of the team it was hard. You want to come home and play, you don't want to be sitting in the stand but sometimes it's in your best interests, you see what it's like from the other side. You can't just throw in the towel when it's hard.

"Bohs was the best team I could have come back to when I left England, joining lads I had grown up with, mates since we were kids.

"It wasn't just about having a laugh, it was about getting into the team at a very big club and doing well," added the winger.

"With the young boys coming in, we were all the same age, close-knit we'd played with or against each other at schoolboy level, I came through at St Kevin's with Robbie McCourt, Danny Mandroiu and Darragh Leahy, since we were eight, we knew we'd do well together."