Euro 2012: What Irish fans in Poland need most – wifi, toilet paper and sleep...
IF FOUR words could sum up this trip they would be wifi, toilet paper and sleep.
All three have been in very short supply around Poznan and Gdansk as fans try to maintain some sort of civility.
At the campsites desperate girls are now offering (we presume jokingly) to swap match tickets for paper towels.
Either way if the locals had sense and wanted to make a few quick zloty they should set up a toilet roll stall in the centre of Gdansk.
The only thing that seems to be more elusive than the ply sheets is sleep. Some fans manage only a couple of hours a night at best. In this reporter’s case there have been about four hours of shuteye in the past 58 hours.
It gets bright in Sopot around 4.30am by which time the fans are still generally far from home. Many – but not all - of the pubs close between 3am and 4am but the off licences are eternally open.
We were told in advance by Polish police that drinking the streets was a big ‘no, no’ but it appears that for the most part it is being tolerated provided the humour is good.
At this stage the locals are well accustomed to our ways and even trying to join in.
However a small few are still bemused by the sapless energy on the streets as they face into work or a morning jog. In Sopot, where the team are based, many natives go running along the beachfront in the early morning, which is a sight to behold as the Irish decide to get their own exercise in by jogging along with them before going home.
The invasion of the tri-city area of Sopot, Gdansk and Gydnia is now in full swing.
* Read the rest of Kevin Doyle’s coverage in Poland in today’s Evening Herald including Damien’s Duff’s brother’s lucky escape in Poland crash and how Kevin Kilbane believes Trap’s Army can still do it.