FOR a man with a short enough professional career to date, Séamus Coleman already has regrets. Not many and only one big one – He could have been at Euro 2012 but instead, he sat in Faulty Towers pub in Killybegs watching Ireland being dismantled by Spain.
Tomorrow in Yankee Stadium, Coleman will line up alongside just three men who started against Spain on that awful day in Gdansk a few days short of a year ago, and he is anxious to address a bad memory.
"I was in a pub back home with all my friends... Faulty's. Some of my friends might have had a different view than me but because I know all the lads it was different. I was disappointed not to be out there.
"There would be something wrong with me if I didn't think I should have been there, Every player wanted to be there. Obviously I felt I should have been there. But the manager had players he had to pick and I wasn't playing in the position I'm playing in now which I think went against me a bit. But it's made me stronger and I'm looking forward to playing many more times for Ireland.
"It's about testing yourself against the best. A lot of the lads played against them last summer and from the way they talk about that game, I know how good they were. As a player you want to play against the very best players. It's a game which I've been looking forward to since it was announced. At the end of your career you want to say that you've played against the best in the world and Spain would be one of them," said Coleman.
Coleman's performance against England was something of a watershed. In a short time, he has elbowed his way into an initially unwilling Giovanni Trapattoni's plans.
"Making your debut is brilliant but I think to play so well in a game like that was very special. We were 1-0 up and it would have been nice to hold on for the win but they got the goal and we sat back a bit towards the end, in the end a fair result and I was happy with my performance."
"There's a good confidence amongst the players . The group table is wide open and it's in our own hands. We have a couple of tough games coming up. We've got to go away to Austria which is going to be an important game but there's a few lads starting to come into the team together and I think you can see we're enjoying it
"It just shows if you're playing week in and week out with your club you will get your rewards eventually. David Forde has been absolutely brilliant. For corners, he's coming out and catching them from the air which gives us lot of confidence. James (McCarthy) is one of the top midfielders in England at the moment and has big future, for Ireland and at club level."
Coleman is looking forward to working with Roberto Martinez and has already picked McCarthy's and Conor Sammon's brains about the new man.
"I've spoken to James about him and he always has good things to say. Like David Moyes with me, Martinez was brilliant with James, so he obviously has positive things to say about him.
"It's a new manager and a new chapter I'm looking forward to. It will be starting over again and trying to impress him in pre-season, trying to do all the things right to make sure you're in his team.
"David Moyes took me from a League of Ireland team, made me into a Premier League and international footballer. I'll always have good things to say about him. He's always been one to pull you up on things – you're doing things right, you're doing things wrong.
"I had a spell at Blackpool when I was playing at right back and I really enjoyed it but obviously that was the Championship and the Premier League is a big step up. I had a few games this season where I started off, I was just back in the role after a couple of years and you could tell that you're out of it for a while but I'm back in the full swing of it and enjoying it.
Does he believe that Moyes will be able for the huge expectation which surrounds Manchester United after such a long time spent with a mid-table club like Everton?
"I think Alex Ferguson had a big say in who the manager would be so he must see something good in him. He has that longevity too.
"He's been at Everton for 10 years and that's maybe something Ferguson looked at.
"He's done so well with Everton over the last 10 years, top eight every year with maybe not the budget everyone else has. He always manages to pick up good players. I can only say good things about him.
"I'm sure he wouldn't take on a job like that if he didn't believe in his own ability. As I said I can only speak about my time at Everton with him and he's been brilliant with me and I wish him the very best and hope he can have continued success at Manchester United."