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Jol wishes his Irish duo well for play-offs

DUTCHMAN Martin Jol (pictured) has become an Ireland fan ahead of the Euro 2012 play-offs against Estonia, because he wants to see at least one Fulham player take part in the European Championship finals next summer.

Fulham have a number of senior internationals in their squad but, for the vast majority, their interest in the European Championships has ended, apart from Dubliners Stephen Kelly and Damien Duff.

"Myself and Damien have been talking about this play-off a lot, since the last Ireland trip -- more or less -- it's come up every day. We know how important it is and how much it means to everyone. It's a huge game and the implications for everyone in Ireland, if we qualify, will be massive. Now we just have to go and do our business on the pitch," said Kelly.

"We had a chat with the club manager, he just called me aside after out last game with Fulham and wished me well. Obviously, as he's Dutch, he's not used to being in a play-off, as Holland qualify automatically all the time, but he wants us to do well and qualify.

"I think Fulham as a club would see it as a boost to see me and Damien at the finals next summer, because not many Fulham players will be there.

"Maybe Bobby Zamora, if he makes the England squad, but the rest of them are out of it. We have Belgians, Swiss and Norwegians in the squad but they're all gone, out of contention, so it's nice for us to have two Dubs there, trying to get to the Euro finals. We have one up on everyone else and people like the Irish. I don't think anyone would begrudge us a place in the finals after all these years."