Throughout the Euros, through the highs and lows, from Welbeck to well beaten, Laurence Heytesbury will be filing a regular diary of following his home country from afar. Laurence is not his real name, nor for that fact is Heyesbury.
It is 2012 and Ireland have qualified for their first tournament since I arrived in Dublin nine years ago. The Faroe Islands are both literally and metaphorically a million miles away.
No one is happier than me that Ireland have qualified, no one. In the recent past of non-qualification, people have just been able to concentrate on supporting whoever England were playing. You will say this isn’t true but you didn’t have people singing ‘Dry Your Eyes, Becks’ to you every day for a year.
Occasionally it gets more innovative, like the Mexico game when The Sugar Club gave free burritos to anyone wearing green. That turned out to be a lot of free burritos.
The best summer of non-qualification for Ireland was the year everyone just pretended to be Polish (except the actual Polish people who just continued to be Polish). The only flaw in this plan was that Poland were pretty cack that year.
Supporting Poland again this year might not be such a bad idea, they have a group which looks more fixed than a 4-4 draw in Serie A, whereas Ireland have the worst draw since Rolf Harris got smashed and did that portrait of the Queen.
This year everyone has forgotten about England (even the ever-popular English press who are just waiting for the Olympics to start) and people already feel sorry for Graham-Taylor-in-waiting Roy Hodgson. As my workmate from Cork told me “I hope the press give Hodgson a fair crack of the whip. Saying that, I hope they lose every game 12-nil”.
And so, please join me as I follow England during Euro 2012 LIVE from Dublin. You will simply not find coverage like this anywhere else.
Back England at 15/1 to win the Euros while you are at it, sign up with Balls.ie and Betfair for a new account and a healthy free bet