Some football fans in this country have a uniquely Irish habit of ignoring local clubs and instead giving their affection to the English team which employs the most Irish players.
Whether that was the Giles-era West Brom side of the 1970s, Liverpool in the '80s, Aston Villa in the '90s and the green-tinted Leeds United team of David O'Leary in the late '90s/early 2000s, plenty of people signed the football supporter's equivalent of adoption papers and took that team to their hearts, for a while at least.
The Southampton v Sheffield United fixture on the final day of this unusual Premier League season should not, in itself, set hearts racing on this side of the Irish Sea, but with potentially seven players from the Republic of Ireland involved, it will garner attention.
There are no Irish players in the first team squad of any of the top four clubs in the Premier League, just one (Matt Doherty) in the top seven.
That horse bolted long ago so it's clubs like Southampton and Sheffield United, as well as Burnley and Brighton, which will very much shape the direction of the Republic of Ireland senior team.
In his time as Ireland assistant manager, Roy Keane was hugely frustrated at having to eschew Premier League games and instead head off on scouting duties in the Championship, simply because there were so few players from this country in the top flight.
Stephen Kenny can at least turn his eye to a club like Southampton or Sheffield United with more than a hope of seeing one of his eligible players on the field.
Last Sunday, Southampton started their game against Manchester City with four Irish players on the bench, one of them an Irish-produced veteran (Shane Long) and the others men aged 20, or under, who came through the system in England (Michael Obafemi, Will Smallbone and the newest addition to the Saints' squad, Will Ferry).
The Southampton system of player development is one of the most-admired in England - the coastal club happy to watch players like Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Virgil van Dijk, Gareth Bale and Sadio Mane develop, impress some suitors who have deeper pockets and then pocket an extravagant transfer fee.
At a time when the door to the first team at Arsenal or Manchester United has never appeared as far away for Irish talent, it can only be good thing that senior boss Kenny and U-21 team coach Jim Crawford have a crop of Irish-eligible talent in one spot and, bar Long, in the early stages of their careers.
Obafemi turned 20 yesterday and Smallbone is also 20, while Ferry, a very exciting talent, is just 19.
He made the bench for last Sunday's game, his first elevation to that stage after a impressive rise through their academy, and with managers making the most of the New Normal with extra substitutions game-time for Ferry is to be expected.
It's the fact that Obafemi, Smallbone and Ferry are all attacking players which will feed the enthusiasm for a brighter future for the international set-up. With the Declan Rice saga still fresh in the memory for those in the FAI, the prospect of England courting English-born talent is always a concern.
Gareth Southgate has a vision for the type of player he wants in the England shirt and, under him, players from clubs like Southampton will get more of a look-in than under previous managers who were dazzled by the bright lights of bigger clubs.
There is nothing to suggest that Smallbone or Ferry would have any interest in defecting if an offer came their way from the FA, and they both put in the hard yards in green by travelling to Krasnodar in Russia last year to help the Irish U-19s qualify for the Euro finals.
When Rice can go to the bother of learning the words of 'Amhrán na bhFiann', only to decide he preferred another country's anthem, anything is possible, but the commitment of Smallbone and Ferry is said to be strong.
The four Irish Saints are at the right club at the right time, playing under a manager who seems to value experience (Ralph Hasenhuttl offered Long a long-term contract which other managers might have declined) and young talent.
Kenny knows that, for the foreseeable future, Irish faces in the line-ups at Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester City will be between rare and non-existent.
But if Long can keep what he has, and Michael and the two Wills can prosper, so should Irish football.