Breakfast with the twins and a big hug, now I'm raring to go

I only arrived last night and I'm still getting into the Azerbaijan mindset, but it's all systems are go for me here in Baku.

We're really hitting the ground running and it's going to be a busy few days, but I'm raring to go.

I obviously had to come out here later than the rest of the Irish team because of my duties with Winning Streak over the weekend, so I'm delighted to finally touch down and get to see everyone. Surprisingly, I'm not tired at all.

Today will be fairly hectic. I'll be getting to know the other commentators and finding my bearings during our two rehearsals.

We have a couple of meetings this afternoon and that's the important part from where I'm coming from because I'll get to meet the rest of the other countries and see who's who.

There'll be a lot of the logistical and technical stuff to go over and small things like learning how to pronounce everybody's name correctly is crucial -- you want to do it the right way and get everything right on the night obviously.

My first rehearsal is at tea time and then the second one will be tonight at midnight, to help everyone get used to being late on air because that's the way it'll be for the real thing.

It'll be a strange way of operating, but there's nothing we can do about it.


I don't get nervous at all at this stage, I'm really looking forward to getting the ball rolling.

Luckily I had the opportunity to chat with John and Edward this morning over breakfast. They gave me a big 'welcome' hug, which was lovely.

They're really in great form and so excited -- it's amazing to see how popular they are already with all the local boys and girls. I've absolutely no doubt they'll be giving it their all tomorrow night.

I think we have a great chance, obviously the Russians have a huge chance too, their grannies could do very well.

Unlike the rest of the delegation, I've yet to experience the tourist aspect of Baku.

But the heat is fantastic. I haven't been out on the street yet but it looks very cosmopolitan.

Hopefully I'll get a chance to sight-see and take it all in properly when all the formalities are done and dusted.

Marty Whelan in Baku