Stand Up for The Noise in Green0
Earwiggle's Sonny O'Neill & Forza Italo's Sebastian Simonetti run the rule over the Noise in Green...
Following the Ireland team's training session at Gdynia under the watchful eye of manager, Mark O'Passarani yesterday, Messrs O'Neill from the Daily Earwiggle & Simonetti of La Gazzetta dello Forza Italo sat down to give their expert views on the 23 entrusted with bringing glory back to the Emerald Isle at this summer's European Championships.
Read on for the low-down on what they had to say & get involved your own comments and squad suggestions below the line...
Players outfits generously provided by Rory St. Kit Man.
Rory Davis Jr.
The phuture of Irish goalkeeping, Rory had a stellar qualifying campaign and at times seemed to hold Irish dreams alive single-handedly. He keeps the defensive house in order by commanding all corners of the silver box to maximum effect. Strictly no-frills, his pinpoint distribution from the back sets the rhythm for many an Irish attack.
The subject of a lot of recent discussion regarding his place in the first 11, the Kerry veteran has shown amazing longevity with his Ireland career to make it to what is surely his last chance to encounter and conquer the international stage.
Aidan TyrrellLoved by the Irish fans after making a late explosion on the international scene early in 2012, this electrofying full-back might have his knockers but we’re convinced that nothing will phaze him at the finals.
Eamonn ToibinThe ace defensive ninja Eamonn won’t be letting any opposition forwards call the tune in Poland. A graduate of the Foley era and stalwart for the Irish team through several campaigns, he’ll be aiming to make uncle Colm and the rest of the travelling faithful proud.
Steve "Red" HurleyStarting out his career with the legendary Kerry GAA Allstar Jack O’Shea-Yourbody, young Stiofáin was spotted by Manchester United scouts and made the grade with the mighty Reds across the pond. This classy DJ international centre-jack will look to stem the goalscoring threat of Balotelli, Torres et al.
"Mad" Mick BanksThis no-nonsense tough-tackling midfielder will offer up stern resistance to any opponent at the finals and has sworn to the Irish faithful to take the noise in green to the final frontier of the tournament. Part of a famous sporting family, cousin Roland O’Gara being a long-standing servant to the Irish rugby team.
Karl O'ConnorHis telling break past Surgeon down a Dutch motorway set up team-mate Function for a glorious brace of EPs, kicking off what was a dominating period in the modern game for Sandwell District. Now enjoying a second spell at Downwards, the Coombe born ace brings a dynamic flair to Ireland’s midfield as well as valuable experience, ruling the centre of the pitch with an iron fist.
Luke SlatteryHailing from Moate, Co. Westmeath, Luke’s game has evolved steadily over the years despite a brutal onfield assault that threatened to end his club career at Novamute. After looking to Niall Quinn’s brother Tony for help, Luke was adamant that he was ok to play again. A loan spell at Ostgut United helped him bounce back to form, and a starting place in the first 11 looks likely.
Mike DunneThe magic feet of Ireland’s highest-capped player will be required to keep the Irish forward line up-beat when isolated against the world champions Spain. Having already announced his retirement to the Irish public following this tournament, he’d love to return to face the nation as a champion.
Richard D. James [Captain]Thanks to his Limerick roots, Richard James’ eligibility to don a green shirt epitomises the luck of the Irish. Aphex’s movement in and out of the studio has provided many match winners – and whether he’s drilling home window-shattering potshots up front or changing the pace of the game with select works of on-field genius, RDJ always remains a deadly threat. As Irish captain and chief playmaker, a lot of expectancy lies on the shoulders of the Cornwall man.
Senan VathIt’s no accident in paradise that this wunderbar servant to the national team is also celebrating his thirteenth season with the mighty Celts. Able to lighten up a game of two cheeky halves with his footballing eye q, Senan will always be ready for ibiza the action on the pitch.
Micko VainioPanned by many of the players for getting ex-manager Ian O’Brien the sahko, Vainio’s harsh opinions haven’t always gone down well. Redeemed himself recently at a number of sports council funded events where Micko pulled through with glimpses of his early touch on the noise in green scene having returned to the man between the sticks. Unlikely to feature unless due to injuries or suspension to Davis Jr, Micko is nevertheless a dependable keeper for whom letting the ball pass is just noton.
Steve StollAs a prolific scorer of winning 12”s in the ‘90s, the gulf that developed between Stoll (whose grandmother is from Cork) and his peers became such that there were few challenges left for him in the game. Citing the need for proper competition again, recent releases have signalled a return to form for Stoll, in an almost fairytale comeback that many observers believed was beyond the “Bantry Boy Wonder”.
Chris McCormackThis troubled techno mastermind turned his back on the game amid much controversy, but following an unexpected late call-up to the squad, Chris is now back in training, working harder on his ride cymbals as he aims to beat defenders with his masterful eq and compression. While recently publicly criticised by other members of the squad for his oft-questioned temperament, McCormack has vowed to repay the manager’s faith in his selection and silence the critics.
Ger DonaldThe effektive defender has often disappeared from view throughout his career but when he shows up, there are few better at clearing the lines. It’s rare to hear him talk to the press but sources close have confirmed he won’t be thinking about the journey home from Poland. It will be all detroit on the night with Ger in the squad.
Christy J BolandWicklow native Christy Boland was just honoured at R&S An Uachtaráin for his services to the Irish game - a sweet sign of the nation’s appreciation for a man now approaching his 4th major finals. Signalling this will be his last in a recent interview, there’s no doubt that many Irish fans will be horse come the end of the Euros, when the Christy chant is brayed out for the last time.
Niall LandstrummNiall thought he’d be watching the Euros from the comfort of his armchair, but a burst of vital late 12”s was rewarded with an unexpected phonecall from the manager, confirming his call-up to the squad. A strong Euro campaign may bring top 6 club interest by August’s transfer window, and should the Irish set-up a quarter final with the French, he’s one who won’t be making peace with the frogs.
Peter O'GradyBringing Joy to Irish hearts, as he caresses the leather orb, this true blue Dub will side-step the challenges of opposing full-backs the length and breadth of Poland and Ukraine.
Lar IntelectoDeep attacking full back who will bring peace of mind if brought on from the bench to freshen tired Irish legs. A big fan favourite, delsin his praises in the stands as he marauds up and down the wings.
Iano KennedyAnother seasoned campaigner, Kennedy reduced the opposition to mere shards when he ran the length of the pitch to sink the Russians with a missile of his own in the qualifiers. When on form Kennedy dazzles like Pele in perfect symmetry - but often overlooked on the big stage, he’ll be hoping that his match time is more than a token late game substitution.
Woody McBrideThe mid-West Meath winger’s bizarre media outburst suggesting that Ireland should employ a 3-0-3 team formation, had some speculating that this man was out of his mind on acid. Duly dropped from the squad, McBride was given a reprieve after some late communique-ation with the manager, much to the delight of the Irish fan bass network.
Lee O'Donovan RosaA fiercely patriotic member of the Irish footballing brotherhood, Lee will bring a touch of class to proceedings if chosen to start against the Croats. Never in a mad rush while in possession of the ball, we can’t recall this cultured defender ever being in uzuri.
Mark O'PassaraniO’Passarani, he used to be Italian but he's Irish now. Never in his nature to lose, the make-up of this team really has his fingerprints all over it. As ever, expect to see O’Passarani roman the touchline with his typical sullen look. Forza Irlanda!