Bohemians’ Ayman Ben Mohamed ‘delighted’ with Tunisia call-up

Young winger called into squad for African Cup of Nations match against Djibouti

Bohemians winger Ayman Ben Mohamed has been called up by Tunisia for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Djibouti in June. Photograph:  Ryan Byrne/Inpho

Bohemians winger Ayman Ben Mohamed has been called up by Tunisia for their African Cup of Nations qualifier against Djibouti in June. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho

 

Bohemians winger Ayman Ben Mohamed has described his first ever international call-up for Tunisia as “an incredible opportunity,” with the 21-year-old set to join the squad for the African Cup of Nations qualifier against Djibouti at the start of next month.

“I’m delighted,” says the London born but Dublin raised Trinity student who qualifies to play for the African side through his father, Lotfi, who was born in Tunis. “Nobody saw it coming. I’ve had lots of relatives on congratulating me – it’s huge for me and my family.

“It’s one of the biggest challenges I’ve ever faced in football. I’ll be training and competing with players from the Premier League, La Liga and the Bundesliga.

“That is an incredible opportunity for me and it is good for the profile of the club and league too. It shows we have a good stage here to develop.”

Ben Mohamed, who has previously played for UCD and Longford Town, has been in exceptional form for Bohemians this season despite the side’s generally disappointing form. It may be too much to hope for that he would a start in the qualifying game – he is one of seven uncapped players in the squad, which also includes Sunderland, Valencia, Eintracht Frankfurt and Lyon players, named by Henryk Kasperczak for the fixture – but at the very least it will provide him with the opportunity to show the former Polish international what he can do.

The Tunisians currently sit two points off top spot in their group, behind Liberia, who they are scheduled to play in September, and would be expected to win comfortably in Djibouti having beaten their hosts 8-1 in the reverse fixture last June. The tournament finals will be staged in Gabon early next year.

The midfielder is likely to be missed while he is away with Bohemians due to face St Patrick’s Athletic ad Wexford Youths over that period but manager Keith Long insists that he is happy to see him go.

“It’s great for him and the club. He’s been a real breath of fresh air and I’m delighted for him,” says Long. “He’s a real throwback to an old-school winger. He loves to take players on and he has a bit of pace about him too. He came to the club to improve and develop as a player, so it’s deserved recognition for the contribution he’s made.”

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