Friday 23 February 2018

Trap insists he can take or leave glamour tie with English

Daniel McDonnell

Daniel McDonnell

GIOVANNI TRAPATTONI won't be dialling Fabio Capello's number to convince the England manager to visit Dublin for a friendly before next summer's Euro 2012 finals.

The FAI believe they have the green light to go ahead with the game, despite UEFA regulations stipulating that teams competing in the same tournament cannot lock horns in the 30 days before the competition starts.

Trapattoni is keen for the fixture to go ahead, but the ball is in the English FA's court.

"It will come down to whether England want to play," said Trapattoni. "It would give us a chance to test ourselves against one of the best teams in the world.

"If it happens, fine; if it doesn't it will come down to other options. I have no plans to speak to Fabio."

The Italian was speaking after finalising Ireland's base for the duration of the tournament in Poland.

As expected, they will train in Gdynia, which is part of the metropolitan area of Gdansk, where Ireland play Spain on June 14.

They have minimal travel concerns, with Poznan -- where they meet Croatia and Italy -- just a half-an-hour flight away. Ireland will make that journey the night before the respective matches.


Trapattoni is satisfied with the quality of the facilities at Gdynia's 15,000 capacity Municipal Stadium, which will play host to their training sessions. Sweden had earmarked the venue before the draw assigned them to Ukraine.

Meanwhile, the team will rest their heads at the five-star Sheraton Sopot Hotel, which is a short drive away. Sopot is a seaside town on the Baltic and is a popular tourist location. The 72-year-old had also run the rule over an option in Wroclaw this week, but Gdynia was preferred for several reasons.

"Gdynia is pretty much perfect in terms of what we want," said Trapattoni.

"In terms of training facilities, they're perfect, and they're close to both the hotel and airport. It's a really good quality pitch now, but they'll be doing even more work coming into the summer months."

With the tournament plans in place, the remaining logistical headache is the schedule before arriving in the host country.

Trapattoni has looked at a possible training camp in Montecatini, Florence, and says he is untroubled about pitching up in Italy, despite the likely volume of media attention from the locals. "The pitch is enclosed, so we could control it," he said.

Last week, the Irish manager had indicated that a training camp in Italy and Portugal would directly precede the trip to Poland.

However, it could take place earlier in May if it needed to be fitted around a possible showdown with the English.

Irish Independent

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