We all sat in suspense waiting to see our opponents next summer. Surely after just about exiting the group of death with both Poland and Germany we were to get an easier run of things this time round?
A fixture against England would have been just the reward we all would have wanted, in fact anyone other than who we actually were drawn against would have been nice.
Luck of the Irish they say? Well I’m not feeling all that lucky, Sweden, Belgium and Italy are who we are to face. As the balls began to get picked one by one I was sure we were to at least get one country that wouldn’t send shivers down the spine.
Having been dealt blows of both Belgium and Sweden early on there was no chance of us also being stuck in the same group as Italy too was there? Yes, yes there was. So this June we can look forward to some entertaining fixtures, Martin O’Neill’s men will kick off the tournament on Monday, 13 June at the Stade de France in Paris against Sweden, who came through a play-off with Denmark to book their ticket to the finals.
Then next we have Belgium in Bordeaux on June 18th, followed four days later by Italy in Lille.
So what are our chances? Well let’s not be too hard on Martin O’Neill’s lads. After being beaten by Scotland in Celtic Park last November I wouldn’t have given us much hope in qualifying for this tournament, but with a win against Germany in the capital we were very much back in the mix.
Even being drawn Bosnia many had the Irish written off but again we showed our determination to be there next summer.
Regardless of who we face one thing is certain the Irish will be there in their thousands supporting the country. Many have already booked up for the 13th and win, lose or draw its guaranteed to be two weeks of fun.
Get your plastic hammers ready we are off to France!