Sport International Soccer

Wednesday 26 July 2017

Coleman brings Wales to 'hometown'

Wales supporters gather in Dublin city centre ahead of the game in The Aviva Stadium tonight. Photo: Damien Eagers
Wales supporters gather in Dublin city centre ahead of the game in The Aviva Stadium tonight. Photo: Damien Eagers

Ryan Nugent and Chai Brady

Chris Coleman's roots are a stone's throw away from the Aviva Stadium at East Wall, and can be traced to Dublin's Liberties.

But don't expect any goodwill being offered to the Wales boss from his father's hometown.

Acclaimed artist, Michael Coleman - brother of Chris's father, Paddy - is the last of the family to reside in the capital.

And while he admits being overcome by emotion when his nephew led the Welsh to an unprecedented European Championships semi-final, he's hoping the St Patrick's celebrations carry over onto this weekend when Ireland take on Gareth Bale and co.

"It'd be great to see Ireland win, wouldn't it?" he says. Just don't mention that to Chris.

His uncle says that while he's Welsh born and bred, Chris maintains some Irish traits.

Sharon Edwards and Paul Jones are all set for the big game. Photo: Damien Eagers
Sharon Edwards and Paul Jones are all set for the big game. Photo: Damien Eagers

Read more: 'Land of my father? No, it was always Wales for me'

"It's a quality that you see a lot in Irish people. No matter how serious the task is, they still retain a sense of humour," he said.

Meanwhile, excited Welsh soccer fans poured into Dublin yesterday with high hopes for turning the tables on group leaders Ireland.

"There's a lot of potential but it will be a tough game. We need the points so there's a lot of pressure on us but I think it's going to be a great game," said Cardiff man Lloyd Jones (27).

Couple Paul and Sharon Edwards from Wrexham have been following Wales all over the world for almost 30 years.

"We've been in Austria, France, Cyprus, Belgium, Italy and more, we've also been here before," said Sharon (46).

Paul (47) said he always enjoys coming to Ireland. "The Irish are friendly we come over for a good time as well," he said.

"We've been crap for so many years, it's great that we're now good," he added.

Michael Matthews (54) from the Rhymney Valley said the match is particularly special, as it marks 10 years since the Ireland versus Wales clash in Croke Park, the first time soccer was played at the venue.

Irish Independent

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