Euro 2012 diary
The Irish players are enjoying their time in the games room that has been constructed at the Sheraton Hotel, and the highlight is the golf simulator installed at considerable expense by Golf Vision. There's one slight problem though. No left-handed clubs have been provided, which is bad news for Kevin Doyle -- the Phil Mickelson of the squad.
"Considering they've no left-handed clubs, I'm doing alright," laughed Doyle. "It's a great set-up, and a good little games room, but the clubs are a bit of a problem. I'm struggling away."
Doyle was part of the group that played some of the real thing in Montecatini last week, and that didn't go so well either. His partnership with Shane Long entered the event as defending champions, but they lost that crown to good pals Stephen Hunt and John O'Shea.
McShane seizes his chance to wield 'axe'
What next for Paul McShane? Perhaps, musical stardom beckons. There doesn't seem to have been much rock'n'roll going down during their day off on Wednesday. It seems the majority underwent spa treatments, messed around in the games room, or even turned their attentions to a jigsaw. But McShane was looking to further his education by trying his hand at the guitar.
Shane Long was the teacher. The Tipp man is a natural, who picked up the instrument as a teenager and quickly became a master, to the extent that he was front and centre in the team song recording and has performed on 'Soccer AM'. He attempted to tutor McShane, but the Hull man was tight-lipped on whether it was a success. But he did have the worn fingers to prove it. With his distinctive look and wholehearted approach to life, McShane could be a hit. The campaign for a Christmas number one starts here.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
"I haven't got a clue what you just said there."
Media from other countries are latching onto the Irish bandwagon, and this was Robbie Keane's response to a question from a German reporter -- their own team are staying nearby. The question was about our prospects of emulating Greece's famous 2004 exploits. When it was clarified, Keane responded in his usual fast-talking Tallaght-ese. The German didn't seem to understand that either. There'll be plenty more of this...
NUMBER OF THE DAY
73.5 With the tournament kicking off, it's a time where people look to the bookies for some innovative bets. Forecasting the number of goals in the competition is always a favourite, and Boylesports have priced it up at 5/6 for either below or above the 73.5 mark. In Euro 2008, the final figure was 77, and that was regarded as a vintage tournament. Below 73.5 is the call, with Trap's Ireland contributing to that effort.