Euro 2012 diary
There's chariot racing in Montecatini today and maybe John O'Shea will be tempted to go down and have a look, given his expanding interest in the equine world.
O'Shea, who already owns a horse and a greyhound with a number of his Irish colleagues, has joined forces with his old Manchester United team-mate Wayne Rooney to invest in another racehorse.
The two-year-old colt will be trained by Elaine Burke. It was bought by her husband and former trainer Karl. Rooney and O'Shea have yet to decide on a name for the nag -- maybe the player who advances furthest in Euro 2012 should be given the choice.
O'Shea has tasted success over the jumps with St Devote, the Irish team's horse who is trained by Eoin Griffin. Perhaps Rooney is looking for a bit of his friend's fortune after his first runner, Pippy, owned in tandem with his wife Coleen, finished last on his debut. The second horse to run in his colours, Tomway, hasn't fared much better.
A little help for fans
There's a fair bit of Euro 2012 themed produce doing the rounds, ranging from garments and magazines to widescreen televisions and whatever else can be somehow linked to events in Poland.
Obviously, the quality can vary quite dramatically, but fans travelling to Poland could do worse than log on to areyoureadyforus.ie and order their specially produced magazine which will act as a particularly helpful guide to the hordes who are planning to make the journey.
The boys at www.singular statements.com have also produced a special Euro 2012 t-shirt that will be appreciated by Ireland supporters, who have taken to singing the Depeche Mode hit 'Just Can't Get Enough' -- which became a favourite at Glasgow Celtic.
ITALIAN PHRASE OF THE DAY
"La mia camera sembra essere agitato" -- Which means, 'My room appears to be shaking,' a statement that was muttered by many an Irish visitor in Montecatini yesterday.
NUMBER OF THE DAY
18 The number that was left off the original 23 man squad released by the FAI yesterday morning. Unlike Kevin Foley, however, Darren O'Dea's name did appear on the corrected version issued moments later and he will wear the number 18.
SQUAD -- Goalkeepers: S Given (A Villa), K Westwood (Sunderland), D Forde (Millwall)
Defenders -- R Dunne (A Villa), J O'Shea (Sunderland), S St. Ledger (Leicester), D O'Dea (Celtic), S Ward (Wolves), S Kelly (Fulham), P McShane (Hull)
Midfielders: G Whelan (Stoke), D Gibson (Everton), K Andrews (WBA), P Green (no club), D Duff (Fulham), A McGeady (Spartak Moscow), S Hunt (Wolves), J McClean (Sunderland)
Forwards: R Keane (LA Galaxy), K Doyle (Wolves), S Long (West Brom), S Cox (West Brom), Jon Walters (Stoke).