Finglas man Ken Oman, the 29 year old Shamrock Rovers central defender and club captain is looking forward to another successful year for the Hoops after last year’s great success story at home and in Europe.
For the Hoops and their supporters a new season brings new hope, indeed some would say there is an expectation of even greater success this year despite the departure of Manager Michael O’Neill at end of last season.
Oman though can handle expectation having been around the block having begun his senior career back in 2001 at Bohemians.
He enjoyed some good years at Bohs but was released in 2005-2006 close season at which point he headed North and linked up with Stephen Kenny. His first taste of Europe also came in 2006 when he was a key figure in Derry’s UEFA Cup campaign.
Though he won Player of the Year awards at Derry in 2007 he found it difficult to settle there and expressed a desire to return to Dublin with Bohemians. It was a return ‘home’ that resulted in good times and bad for he was not always a regular on his return due mainly to the excellent form of Jason McGuinness and Liam Burns but he did collect more medals and played again in Europe.
When the league title passed across the Liffey in 2010, Oman followed and he has enjoyed some fine displays for Rovers since earning the honour of club captain in the process.
After last week’s game against former club , Bohemians, he talked to SportsNewsIreland about his times with Bohs, his stay with Derry City and his more recent exploits with the Hoops as well as the year ahead.
SportsNewsIreland: How do you think the game went tonight?
Ken Oman: It was a good win for us. First half, we had a lot of possession but we weren’t doing a lot with it, I thought the second half we got more stuck in,and got a good 2-0 win against Bohs. Teams are always going to be very defensive against us, more so in Tallaght Stadium, we knew what we were up against tonight. I’ll take a 2-0 win all day.
SNI: Rovers found Bohs hard to break down first half, where you impressed by Bohs?
KO: Wouldn’t say I was impressed, they’re like a lot of the other domestic teams. It’s kind of what we’ve encountered this year so far, you know what I mean. It’s only in the end they had a go, and nearly scored one at the end! I suppose teams are going to be very well orgainsed against us, they were well drilled. We have to make all the moves really. But, we were expecting that tonight. Thought second half we upped our game and luckly enough we scored two. We had to keep the momentum going and we’re very happy with the result.
SNI: This is now your second Year at Rovers, does it feel strange at all walking out against your former side, Bohemians?
KO: No, it doesn’t bother me. My days with Bohs were a good long time ago now, maybe it would’ve been more strange for the likes of Killian (Brennan) and Conor (Powell) with this being their first time against their former side. But for me, it’s old news now. Feels like I’ve been here a while, you know what I mean.
Even when I’m playing against Derry, I do not think I’m going up against an old club here, them days are behind me. I always remember the good times I had but, I’m a Shamrock Rovers player now and I want to win things. I don’t care who we’re playing against I want to win you know. That’s it. So, it doesn’t feel awkward for me at all. If the ball is there to be put in the back of the net, sure thing is I’ll put it there! Some people read into it an awful lot, even in this league, you can see yourself. Players move clubs so often, I think everyone, week in week out, is playing against their old
SNI: Last time I spoke to you, we were unsure of who would be named caption at Shamrock Rovers. Were you delighted to get handed the armband?
KO: Yes, course I was. Rovers are a great side, and I want to win things here and was delighted to be named captain of such a good club.