Short chat with Daniel Lambert, a Strategic Planner with Bohemian Football Club Limited (and also co-owner of the Bang Bang Cafe)
Daniel Lambert is my name and I look after a lot of the strategic planning for bohemian football club.
They call Bohemians, I see on the advertisement, the peoples club, can you explain that please?
Yeah, basically I suppose soccer has been, in recent years, football or soccer has been associated with owners, individuals, corporations and Bohs is the complete opposite of that. For 127 nearly 128 years we have been owned by a couple of hundred ordinary men and women, in Dublin, so it’s the peoples club in the true sense. Someone like Everton used the phrase when it actually doesn’t hold true, the club is literally owned by ordinary people, and its ran for their enjoyment and to be passed onto another group of people.
And what ways have the club reached out to the ordinary people?
Oh we do a whole litany of things, you may have seen earlier this week we were selected, 12 LOI clubs applied for youth funding in a project called More than a Club and that’s a reflection on how good clubs are integrating into the local community. Ourselves and cork were selected, yesterday is was announced
We do walk in football with mentally challenged people, walk in football with older people, we do a programme in Mountjoy prison to try and help people refrain from reoffending when they emerge from prison, there is actually a group, our club president, is over a prison in the Netherlands right now, tonight, a group of ex-prisoners in Mountjoy are playing with a group of bohs players over there
We do a whole range of things, we have a project for school completion and….
So what about yourself, how long have you been supporting Bohs….?
I was brought since I was a baby….so 30 years.
so you had no choice then
No, no choice at all!
Best season all those years?
For me actually the best season was probably last season! As a fan I suppose I was unusual in that I was on the board for a lot of the years, we had severe trouble and I actually realised in retrospect that the Fenlon years and the other years where we won a lot of trophies behind the scenes were the worst years the club had ever had. And id hand them all back if I could and not have almost destroyed the club.
I think that last year there really was a sense of togetherness, Dalymount was saved, we had a group of honest players on the pitch and we didn’t win anything but for me the feeling around the club is better than its ever been.
So was that serious then, really?
Absolutely. The club blew a serious amount of money in a very short space of time for trophies that really don’t mean anything if you talk about preserving your club that was passed down, that was put in severe jeopardy for trophies over a very short space of time.
then I guess the general consensus is that Keith Long is doing a good job?
Amazing job, yeah, in fairness, Keith’s done a great job and I suppose for Keith he has come to Bohs at a time everyone is fully aware of the situation and what we are trying to do and he has been giving an awful lot of leeway that perhaps other managers weren’t in the past and that’s a good thing. People are realistic about where we are, what our budget is and they know we are not going to win the league, and when you put a group of players on the pitch like Keith has who just have effort and honesty about them, it’s hard not to applaud them
(so this season so far, your more or less mid table, your safe aren’t you?)
Yes, I think we are more or less safe. It would be nice to win tonight, you know Pats were one of the clubs that wanted to go for the ten team league, so id love to see pats go down, and we weren’t in favour of it obviously, yeah so I hope we win tonight and I think we will finish mid table.
your cult hero of the club, all those years?
for what reason then?
Well he built the Jodi stand, he is the honorary life president, played for the club, and he stuck around. Tony will be here tonight, and Tony, in those years we were stuck for money, the first person up to write a check or to try to get people together was Tony. And that’s a man in his late seventies. So fair play to him.
so tonight’s game then, st pats, shud be a good game, their real pressing teams
Id say both teams to score
a draw maybe
I think so, one all, or two all either way, pats usually come to Dalymount looking to not concede first so they can’t do that tonight, and our home form has been atrocious, so I think both teams will score and then 2-1, two all or one all.
any players to look out for tonight that maybe general fans wouldn’t know about, under the radar
For us, Fuad, I mean Fuad will be going to England by the looks of things, he is a phenomenon player, he came from Pats under 19’s
definitely then going to score tonight so!
I think he is our best player
its worth a fiver
And of course, wardy after the hat trick up in Drogheda.
and the atmosphere tonight, what should we expect?
The atmosphere will be good. Dalymount is difficult in that , you know we are fully aware that the ground has two sides realistically, so you are creating noise on two sides which isn’t ideal, but Bohs n Pats its one of the better atmospheres, I think you will be pleasantly surprised, obviously us and rovers isn’t comparable to any other game we play, so this ranks up there with one of the better atmospheres
is it difficult to get punters in all the time?
Not anymore no, we turned a huge corner, that the perception of bohs, and its something we have worked on very hard, the perception of bohs has changed massively, when you go in there tonight, you will see there will be quite a lot of tourists, quite a lot of girls, and the kind of demographic at bohs games has shifted quite a lot in the last few years. we haven’t lost anyone, we have just added on a new group of people.
I see you are linking up with other teams as well, you have FC United…
Fc United, we have good links with st pauli in hamburg
yeah its something we have really tried to press home
will there be a sparkling of German and……
yeah you will see it here, there will be german, French, Spanish, they will be drinking the bohs craft ale, there will be hipsters everywhere
you have three bars
So The one in the middle is the members bar, generally older demographic in there, mainly bohs members, the bar on the far left is the phoenix walking in that’s generally our singing section, there is a jukebox in there, lots of pictures of past gigs in Dalymount, the one on the far right isn’t open to the public that’s our sponsors bar, it opens up after the game.
will I see Johnny Logan tonight?
You will see brush shiels,
You will see, who else will be here….
James Kavanagh is coming tonight, im picking james up in the jeep, you know james kavanagh, the snap chat celebrity
John Kavanaghs brother, McGregor’s coach. So james is coming to tonight and he is snapchatting the whole night
im just after realising the name of the bar (café)…..bang bang , you were in the news recently…
Yeah we got a gravestone made for bang bang, on rte news
Used to shoot a key around Dublin
it was only recently, what 2 or 3 weeks
2 weeks ago
I know you cant see this now obviously as we are speaking, but the idea behind this and its something we have tried to say to other clubs, happening more and more is with this picture obviously its red and black but beside that its everything you wouldn’t expect to see on a football poster, no crest, no footballer, and there is a woman in it and that’s done on purpose as very often the FAI try to market the league and they miss the point, they put up a player in a jersey and a kit, that only appeals to existing fans….
But you see this, first of all you are thinking what’s it about……..but it kind of draws you in….
Yeah and that’s something we have tried to bring across all our engagements with the public…
so what about shamrock rovers then? Ha ha
In what way
you get excited when they come this side of the city
yeah both of us do, like…..there are some good things going on about shamrock rovers, I think they miss the point in that we try to celebrate the fact that what they did in terms of a club is getting themselves a ground and coming out from that period of absolute madness that they were in, should be commended as a club. Id have nothing against them as a football club
When we play them I want to beat them, do I like them…..no I don’t.
But I do think for us, been able to stay in Dalymount is massive.
Tallaght is a nice stadium, but there is no soul to it, it’s a sterile place, its on the periphery of the city
(its very windy, jesus right up the middle
I don’t like it. I met a guy here recently and he was a Spanish fella and he had come over, and he came to see us and rover in Dalymount, and he arrived on the Thursday and he got a Dublin bike and cycled out to Tallaght stadium to see it, and he said “I had left the city”
so what’s this place you have going on here the, it seems like a pretty cool place
It… what do we do,,,, we do food, records and clothes and coffee and
are you long open here?
Nearly two years
yeah, seems pretty busy, buzzing in there
A lot of it is football stuff. Me and my sister did it, her rule at the start was no politics, no football, so ….its full of bohs stuff…. And I climbed on top of that building last week and put a Palestinian flag on top last week
So that’s pretty much it, thanks very much …..and a prediction for tonight
Id go 2-1 bohs
And who is going to score the last goal
Dinny, to score
Dinny Corcoran, thanks very much
Anyway, here is my day out in video form
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