Emotional Jon Walters pays tribute to team spirit as Irish realise Euro 2016 dream
Ireland’s goal scoring hero Jon Walters says qualification is just rewards for the hard work put in by the players throughout their qualification campaign.
A goal in either half secured a 2-0 win on the night and a 3-1 victory on aggregate over Bosnia and and Walters, who missed the first leg through suspension, admitted that it was a squad effort.
“It’s unbelievable,” he admitted. “For all the boys it has been a long, hard two years.
“My family up there in the box, my wife and children. It’s been a long, hard two years but we got there. That was the plan from the start.
“Every single player has played a part in this.”
A coolly struck penalty in the 24th minute set Ireland on their way and said there was never any doubt that he would take stand over the crucial kick.
“I’ve missed a few in my time. When it’s there to take, I’ll always step up, I’ll always put my hand up and thankfully it hit the back of the net.”
The second was after he won a free-kick, with Robbie Brady’s delivery finding the Stoke man at the far post.
“Robbie was always going to put it at the back post and it just bounced up. That’s what I do, get into the areas and I’m delighted.
“We’ve had a very tough group. The mix between old and young in this team. We’ve got some exciting players coming through. Hopefully we can put right what happened at the last European Championships.
“The hard work starts next summer.”