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Thursday 22 March 2018

Euro 2012 diary

Irish get on Ryder buzz

THE thrilling finish to the Ryder Cup had a knock-on effect on the time of Ireland's training session yesterday.

They were due to begin their preparations for Friday's joust with Russia at 3.0 in Malahide.

However, the dramatic events at Celtic Manor captivated the golf lovers in the camp and, with Graeme McDowell locked in combat with Hunter Mahan, the decision was made to knock back the start of training until 3.30 -- enough time for a McDowell-inspired Europe to wrap up the spoils in Wales.

Advocaat wields axe

Russian coach Dick Advocaat is a confident man, and was forthright enough as he went through some changes in his squad for this Friday's Aviva battle.

He confirmed that Dmitry Sychev is out, because he "currently looks unimpressive" while his Lokomotiv colleague Dmitry Torbinsky, who was one of their heroes in the epic Euro 2008 quarter-final with Holland, gets the flick because he "lacks match practice".

Still, Giovanni Trapattoni joked that Advocaat should be fine, considering he has "200 players to choose from".

Trap keeps it zipped

International windows unsurprisingly coincide with the reinforcement of national stereotypes. So, there was much talk of Russia in the context of spies in Malahide yesterday.

A visiting journalist from that part of the world asked Giovanni Trapattoni if he had spoken to Luciano Spaletti, a friend of the Irish boss, who manages Zenit St Petersburg.

Trapattoni explained that he hadn't done so, and added that he wouldn't speak to his fellow countrymen in England either.

His logic? Invariably, news will filter out that they've spoken, and it could make life difficult for them in their current position. Especially in Russia.

Number of the day

14 This many years ago, Shay Given made his debut for Ireland in a friendly match with Russia. On Friday, he will make his 107th appearance for his country.

Irish Independent

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