The Frank Lampard Chelsea era got underway with a 1-1 draw at Dalymount Park last night, where the hosts extended charity off the pitch if not on it.
The Chelsea side which featured some big names such as Pedro and Azpilicuta got changed in the home dressing room. A situation Bohemians' boss Keith Long described as discommoding.
Chelsea scored first through Batshuyai inside ten minutes, the Belgian was busy throughout. Chelsea changed their entire team for the second half and almost held out. Bohs equalised in the 89th minute through trialist Eric Molloy.
Night to remember
It was a night to remember for 14-year-old Evan Ferguson. The teenager made his debut against Lampard's Chelsea. Ferguson even played a part in the stunning equalising goal.
— Bohemian Football Club (@bfcdublin) July 10, 2019
Long was happy with how his side acquitted themselves on the evening. "We can put it up to the likes of Chelsea in a game like tonight," he said.
While the Bohemians manager was also aware of the context of the performance relative to Chelsea's strength on the night.
"Obviously they have a lot of fellas to come back into things, it's very early in their pre-season."
The limitations off the field, however, drew some ire from Long who plainly stated: "Facilities need to improve". He revealed that his side used the visitor's changing area, allowing the Premier League side the relative home privileges.
"We've been discommoded tonight. We've had to change in the away dressing room, we've given up a lot of space to Chelsea. That shouldn't be the case."
However, those concessions are just necessary to ensure clubs like Chelsea appear according to Long, "but it's part of the deal with them coming to the place as it currently stands."
Long was clearly and rightly unhappy with the situation and reiterated the importance of modernising the ground.
"We need to redevelop Dalymount. We need to get a state of the art facility here. That's a more attractive proposition for Premier League clubs."
Dublin City Council owns Dalymount Park and plans to develop a 6,000 capacity, all-seater facility at the Phibsborough ground. The venue is planned to be completed by 2023. However, there are ongoing issues about 'rights of access' in the new design with the adjacent Tesco store.
However, the club had previously stated: "If this impasse persists, it would not prevent the redevelopment of Dalymount Park."
It's clear Dalymount needs development sooner rather than later.