Off The Ball: Hope abounds at dawn of new eras for Ireland
Open approaches of both Schmidt and O'Neill make a refreshing change for jaded supporters
Last Saturday was a significant one in the Irish sporting world. There was the unveiling of Martin O'Neill at the Gibson Hotel, followed by Joe Schmidt's first game in charge of Ireland.
Lots to talk about and lots of change. An overriding theme had emerged by evening time. It centred on communication. The news was good. For it appears that lines of communication have been reopened on all fronts.
We had been stuck in Groundhog Day. The analysis surrounding virtually every Republic of Ireland match under Giovanni Trapattoni took on a familiar tone.