I can’t imagine what it must’ve been like to see James Nolan’s (21) coffin leaving the church with the ‘fields of Athenry’ being sung. It must’ve been difficult for anyone, especially Jame’s family and friends. The Independent wrote: “Tears streamed down the faces of mourners and Shay Given’s face crumpled with emotion as the sorrowful strains of ‘The Fields of Athenry’ accompanied the removal of the coffin from the church, as all recalled the spirit of the Irish fans throughout the championships and how amongst them had stood James Nolan.” Story link here
Check it out, something positive for Shay to chew on after a bitter European Championship in Poland. Link here
I honestly felt that Ireland were going to have a bit of luck this time and grab something from Spain, but the pattern of losing a goal after 4 minutes repeated itself again, when Torres stole the ball rounded 2 players and battered it high into the net over Shay’s head. It’s the worst start Ireland could’ve asked for apart from getting someone sent off in the process but it seriously dampened Ireland’s hopes of getting anything from the World Champions. The Irish singing the ‘Fields of Athenry’ at the end was the highlight for me as an Irish fan. What a response to a 4:0 defeat. Incredible.
We all hoped for at least a point from the Croatia encounter but Croatia obviously had other ideas. A second goal before half-time and then after the start of the second-half were hammer-blows to the Irish team and it was hard to get chances from a resolute Croatian defence too. Ireland were denied 2 penalty shouts which of course would’ve given hope and bite and luck was not on Shay’s side either for the third goal with it hammering against his head as it came off the post, giving Croatia the 3 points and goals. Now it’s miracle time in the Irish campaign as Ireland have to take points off Spain and Italy to go through to the knock-out stages. But you ‘never know in football’ and the Irish never chose the easy path before.
Shay is resting his weary muscles in training, etc. but ‘rest assured’ come Sunday, he will be playing against Croatia. He’s just making sure he’s ready for Sunday and looking after his body to make sure that happens. Rock on Ireland and Shay!
Shay survived his first training session and wants to play on Monday night. So all systems go. Yippee.