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No buts, we're off to the Euros

AT around 9.35pm tonight the biggest party yet at the Aviva Stadium will kick off.

Barring an unprecedented 0-5 defeat to Estonia, Giovanni Trapattoni's men will march into their first major finals since qualification for World Cup '02 exactly 10 years ago today.

And with qualification for Poland-Ukraine '12 all but in the bag, the party is expected to get underway at full time.

Beaming Irish football fans are planning to serenade Trap and the boys with brand new chants to mark the team's stunning 4-0 result in Tallinn and playoff success.



Glorious

One member of the You Boys in Green fan club has put an interesting take on Gene Kelly's classic: "We're singing in Ukraine, singing in Ukraine , what a glorious feeling, we're happy again."

Another tune that will be ringing out from the terraces is: "Que sera sera, whatever will be will be, we're going to Polski, que sera sera."

YBIG member Aidan Mullen is urging everyone in the stadium to raise their voice for the team. "We have our singing section but I hope everyone joins in. It's not often we get to major championships so we should all celebrate," he told the Herald.

Everyone lucky enough to have a ticket for tonight's match is urged to join in the festivities and create a carnival atmosphere in Dublin 4.

But our wily boss is not getting complacent and has promised a performance for the Irish public. "We have a duty to repeat this game, maybe not with the same goals, but for the Irish people," said Trap. "They pay for their tickets and expect a result. Not only a result, but also for us to play well."

The Aviva Stadium will bask in green ahead of kick-off with 50,000 green cards being supplied to fans by the FAI to hold up as Robbie Keane leads his team out onto the hallowed turf of Lansdowne Road.

Aidan and around 40 volunteers were at the Aviva this morning to place the cards on each seat in the stadium.



pride

They are also providing face painters, which will be at various locations around the concourse of the stadium to encourage supporters to 'Go Green With Pride'.

Fans have already begun to make enquiries about next summer's tournament and the hunt is on for campervans and caravans capable of making the trip to Eastern Europe.

Memories of the convoys of Irish fans following their team around Germany in Euro '88 will come flooding back for the most avid Irish supporters.

"Everyone is going to shop around for the best way to get there and the cheapest way to travel but if we're based in the Ukraine that is a lot of driving and there are long distances between match venues so I wouldn't rush into anything," Aidan advised fans.

"I was rearing my family during the Charlton era and couldn't follow the team to a major championships but since I've got home from Estonia, I'm even doing the dishes to build up the brownie points and I can't wait for next year."

hnews@herald.ie


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