For the Irish football team it has been a decade which has contained a string of frustrating results, which has led to falling short in the qualifying rounds for major tournaments. With the heartache of not qualifying for the last World Cup (2010) put firmly behind now, all eyes are on the boys in green to seize the playoff spot and secure their first appearance in a major tournament since the World Cup in 2002, and what would be only be a second appearance at the European championships(1988 being the last appearance).
A promising campaign by Giovanni Trappatoni’s men has resulted in a tie with Estonia, who are perhaps the underdogs in this two legged clash but are by no means going to be a walkover for the Irish team. This team may be seen as minnows to many, however the Estonians have racked up two successive wins over Northern Ireland, and also wins against Slovenia and Serbia in their qualifying campaign.
Many see the Irish having one foot in the championship, however nothing is certain as yet and Ireland will go into this game with great confidence and indeed caution. Trappatoni has several major selection headaches issues before this game. Shane Long (knee) and Liam Lawrence (ankle) are both missing from the squad as a result of injury, while John O Shea (groin), Kevin Doyle (Suspended) and Leon Best (birth of child) will all miss the first leg in Tallinn. Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Keith Fahey are all hoping to shake off minor injuries. These players have been rested so far as a precaution but are likely to feature on Friday night.
The Physio Company would like to wish the Irish team the very best of luck in both matches and hopefully Ireland can get a result which would see us competing in Poland and Ukraine next summer in the European championships for the first time in 24 years.
More to follow!!