Ireland manager gets his hands on first trophy during visit to Waterford
Published 11/02/2012 | 07:23
GIOVANNI Trapattoni looked into his crystal ball and predicted good things for Ireland at Euro 2012.
The wily Italian showed off his creative side as he toured the House of Waterford Crystal and even cut his own vase.
The Ireland manager donned a white coat, before taking his seat at the cutting wheel in the multi-million euro tourist attraction.
When Trap arrived at the House of Waterford Crystal, he immediately took a keen interest in the craft of glass blowing.
“It is heavy,” he remarked after he was handed a vase to put his own creative stamp on. His face was the picture of concentration as he sat at the wheel, before the cutting assistant told him he could collect his masterpiece after his tour had ended.
When he finally got to eye up his handiwork, he joked: “We can score, we can score.” Trapattoni was in Waterford to announce his 24-man squad for the February 29 home friendly against the Czech Republic as he steps up preparations for Euro 2012 in Poland in June.
The manager’s visit gave a welcome boost to the new Waterford Crystal facility, which is made up of the old manufacturing base, a visitor centre and a retail outlet.
About 40,000 handcrafted high-end pieces of crystal are created at the outlet annually where a continuous melt-tank furnace produces two tonnes of molten crystal every day.
Skilled master blowers hand-shape and hand-blow Waterford Crystal pieces. During Trapattoni’s walkabout, he learned from local craftsmen about both the historic and the modern production techniques used to make the famous crystal.
Before his tour, Trapattoni went to Ballygunner National School where he chatted to pupils, and then enjoyed a reception with Mayor Pat Hayes at City Hall.
Mr Hayes said there was a “great tradition” of football in Waterford.
After his tour of the city ended, the Italian football maestro went to Tramore, Dunmore East and Dungarvan where he opened a new walk and cycle path along the old railway line.