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WAGs are welcome but with strict rules - Trap

THE WAGs shall go to the ball.

The Ireland players' wives and girlfriends have been given the all-clear to attend the Euro 2012 championships next summer.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni said that that loved ones will be welcome but under strict rules.

Access for family members, including Claudine Keane, Jane Given and Joanna Hunt, will be restricted to post-match hours, the manager has stipulated.

"There is time for the family and wife but it is important to work on the job of playing football," Trapattoni said.

"It's important that the players realise they must make sacrifice for 20 days to play football.

"There is a space after the game for the family and the kids. We go and drink beer and enjoy ourselves."

And the veteran manager hinted that the modern day players were spoiled with their demands.

"Many years ago, it was different psychologically and the habits of teams were different," Trapattoni said. "At the World Cup in Chile in 1962, we [Italy] went 40 days without seeing the family. Okay, let them have their days, but when we work, we need to stay together."

Managers will face the conundrum of allowing WAGs to have a distracting presence in the team camp or isolating the players away from their loved ones.

The English FA endured a disastrous campaign at the 2006 World Cup in Germany where the WAGs stole the limelight.

And Trapattoni said that he wouldn't take any prisoners when it came to rules of the camp.

"When we give players responsibility and moments to relax with their family, it is important they respect that and, when we say come back by 11 o'clock, it is 11 o'clock," he said.

"I'm going to give them a kick up the backside, because this is their job. If they not like, it is better that they stay at home.

"They are young, so it is difficult to understand, but it is not difficult for me because I'm Italian. But if they go and drink beer, you will soon see the pictures," he added.

Trapattoni is keen to secure a pre-tournament training camp in Portugal, Sardinia or Austria but has yet to identify a base in Poland after the team secured its place with a 5-1 aggregate win over Estonia on Tuesday night.

But the former Juventus and Inter Milan coach insists that his 23-player squad should have the belief in their ability to prosper next summer.

"All is possible in football," he said. "With enthusiasm and belief, we have to believe it. Nobody denies our dreams."

clairemurphy@herald.ie


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