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Euro 2012 diary

O'Shea and friends get right on course: JOHN O'SHEA'S dodgy ankle has given Giovanni Trapattoni a few problems over the past fortnight, but there's nothing wrong with his golf swing. The Waterford duo of O'Shea and Stephen Hunt took the honours yesterday as a dozen of Trapattoni's men spent their day off on the golf course.

Management gave the team some relaxation time to break up the week, so a group of 12 headed for Montecatini Golf Club and a texas scramble competition. O'Shea and Hunt came out on top, taking the crown from defending champions, Kevin Doyle and Shane Long. There will be a golf simulator at the team's hotel in Poland. At least this outing gave them a stab at the real thing.

tweet nothings no consolation to fahey

WHILE Kevin Foley coped with the devastation of being dropped by Giovanni Trapattoni, it's worth remembering there is another Irish player still coming to terms with his absence from the finals.

Keith Fahey spent most of his 10 days in Malahide doing fitness work with Foley and while the Wolves man recovered, the Birmingham midfielder did not. He set up a Twitter account during his time in Malahide, with a biography which excitedly mentioned that he was travelling to Euro 2012 with Ireland. It disappeared on Saturday evening after the scan on Fahey's groin revealed the bad news.

Hours earlier, he had tweeted about what a good send-off the win over Bosnia had proved to be. Yesterday, Fahey's account appeared again, with the midfielder simply announcing: "Deactivated my Twitter after receivin my scan results on Saturday evening. #sickeningtothestomach".

The ex-St Pat's man (29) is back home in Tallaght and must now target a return to the fold for the start of the World Cup qualifiers in the autumn.



"È la Montecatini, o è Hollywood?" -- Meaning, is this Montecatini, or is this Hollywood? The context. Outside the Montecatini town hall, the pavement pattern is broken by a series of gold circles, all bearing the name of famous visitors to the town. Robert De Niro, Sophia Loren, Henry Kissinger, King Leopold of Belgium and a host of presidents are all honoured and this weekend they will be joined by Giovanni Trapattoni and Marco Tardelli -- in the final ceremony of the special welcome afforded to the Irish visitors.


1880 The year Italian composer, Giuseppe Verdi, first visited Montecatini. He was feeling down on his luck, so a friend recommended that he come here.

Clearly, it lifted his spirits, as he returned every year until his death in 1901, accompanied always by his wife and his fiancee! Normal behaviour in those times, especially as the water in Montecatini is supposed to have an effect that is comparable to Viagra -- a magical impact which doesn't appear to extend to the water in the distinctly modest media hotel.

Irish Independent