We're taking no chances this time around. Forget Saipan, Roy Keane won't even be leaving Cork in the buildup to Euro 2016 after the FAI confirmed that the Irish management team had selected the Fota Island resort as Ireland's training base ahead of this summer's tournament.
After Ireland take on the Dutch in Dublin on May 27th, Martin O'Neill and his side will head down to Fota Island for a five day training camp between May 30th and June 3rd.
Commentating on the selection of the Cork base, O'Neill confirmed that Keane threatened to quit* if they didn't choose the stay as close to the River Lee as possible. (*That in no way happened and we apologise in advance for even suggesting it.)
I’ve been to a number of potential sites in Ireland and overseas, and we’ve decided on Fota Island Resort because it offers everything we need right here on our doorstep.
I visited Fota Island Resort recently, with Roy Keane, and I know that it has a good pedigree as a base for sporting teams and, in particular, football squads.
The players will be in France for what will be a long enough period, so it’s good to keep them closer to home for the build-up to such a huge competition, and in a familiar environment.
As if anticipating the staid, but nonetheless necessary, Saipan jokes the FAI have confirmed that everything about the Fota resort is up to scratch.
The football playing surfaces are built to the highest specifications and incorporate top layer sand, seeded with a combination of rye and smooth stalk meadow grass, equipped with a fully automated underground irrigation system.
Good to know. We're feeling more confident of getting out of that horrible group already.