Another act in a great summer of sport has begun and if Giovanni Trapattoni’s team can capture our affections like Jack Charleton’s panel did all of those years ago, then the mood of the nation will surely lift.
It’s been a decade since our national team was involved in the finals of a major championships and the fallout from the 2002 World Cup, when the Roy Keane affair so divided the country — and still does — left a bitter taste and a feeling of underachievement.
Even though Ireland has been drawn in one of the most difficult groups, nothing is impossible in sport.
Trap’s Ireland are not the most exciting or talented squad in the tournament, but there’s a durability about them that makes them extremely competitive. Here’s hoping we’ll be making the right sort of headlines this time around.
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