Tuesday 20 March 2018

Life’s a beach for players Shay Given, Richard Dunne and Stephen Ward with kids

Ed Carty

IRISH goalkeeper Shay Given and defenders Richard Dunne and Stephen Ward spent more than an hour on the beach today building sandcastles with their kids.

The pair took some time out to soak up the warm weather in the resort town of Sopot as they prepared for the crucial second group stage match against Spain on Thursday.

Ed McInerney, from Perrystown in Dublin, played against Ward in his teenage years in the District Schoolboy League.

"I marked him loads of times, he played up front back then for Portmarnock and Home Farm," he said.

"I knew him well from the football and kicking the legs of each other.

"The three of them were happy there with their kids. Ward's ma and da got a bus up from Poznan, six hours - they still travel in style."

About 50 yards from the pair three Irish lads in sleeping bags caught up on some well earned sleep on the beach.

Niall Dunning, 26, from Templeogue in Dublin, said it was a great sight to see the players so relaxed after the awful opener against Croatia.

"It was really nice to see the day or two after the game being so casual hanging around. They were also nice to us and anyone asking for pictures," he said.

Most of the families of the Irish players have arrived in Sopot and staying in hotels near the team.

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