HAVING completed a permanent transfer from Stoke City to Bohemians earlier this month, Cork native Ethon Varian was convinced to join the Gypsies because of the belief Keith Long has shown in the striker.
Varian revealed that the Bohs’ manager has shown interest in him in the past and it was an easy decision to finally team up with Long.
“The manager has shown interest in me a number of times in the past. It does give a player confidence when a manager continues to enquire about you,” Varian said.
“That was a big factor in me joining Bohs. I know the manager must really rate me as a player and see potential in me otherwise he would not have kept asking about me over the years.
“It only took a few conversations with him this time to get everything sorted and I’m delighted it has.
I suppose when you look at Bohs' record for developing players that is another reason for me joining.
“They have a good history of players coming back from the UK and helping them progress their career. For me, it’s not about getting back to the UK.
“Of course, never say never, but my aim has to be to try to get into the starting XI at Bohs and score goals.”
Varian spent last season on loan at Scottish Championship side Raith Rovers, a year in which he scored three goals for the club as well as winning the Scottish Challenge Cup. Despite making 44 appearances for the club, the striker is keen to gain more first-team experience with Bohs.
“I loved my time at Raith. It was a great club to be at and obviously it is always nice to win something.
“Although I played a lot of games I still feel I have a lot to learn. I keep saying that there is a huge difference between men’s football and playing U23.
“I feel getting more men’s football will improve me as a player and hopefully I can get a run of games now with Bohs.
“I believe there is a very good squad here. I’ve signed an 18-month deal so I will be looking to achieve things during that time.
“There are still a lot of games left in the league and the FAI Cup will be starting very soon. The lads were obviously disappointed to lose the final last year but they would have learned so much from that cup run and hopefully we can go deep in the competition again this year.”
Bohs weren’t the only club interested in Varian’s services. The 20-year-old had offers to remain in England as well as other League of Ireland clubs.
However, Varian believed that joining Bohs was the best opportunity for him to develop as a player and holds hopes that he could force his way back into the Republic of Ireland U21 for their upcoming 2023 European Championship play-off game against Israel in September.
“I enjoyed my time at Stoke. It is a great club and I met a lot of very good people there. It is a very big club and I would consider myself fortunate to have represented them and experienced what it was like to be an academy player in a club of Stoke’s stature.
“I could have stayed in England. There were a few lower-league clubs that I could have joined there.
“I also had a few offers from other League of Ireland sides but I just felt Bohs were the right club for me.
“I wanted to come to a club where I would be happy playing my football and I felt that was possible here. The club do look after you.
“I will be staying in an apartment with two other players on the team. The club organised that. It’s good as well staying with players on the team because obviously I’m not from Dublin so I’m sure they will help me settle in quicker.
Obviously, I would love to get back into the Irish U21 squad. They have done so well to get to the qualifier and hopefully they can get over the line whether I’m part of the squad or not.
“Like I said, my focus is solely on breaking into the first team here and scoring goals, anything else would be a bonus.
“You never know though. If I become regular and start scoring goals, perhaps I might get an opportunity but again; my aim is fully on developing with Bohs.”