To say I'm not interested in sport is something of an understatement. But as I share
my home with an Oldham and a Chelsea supporter and have worked alongside sports
reporters for the past ten years, I have at least a passing knowledge of the game,
especially when the fortunes of the Irish soccer team are concerned.
Ireland play a crucial game against Cyprus in the 2010 World Cup qualifiers this evening.
It should be an easy game but they beat us last time. We need to win this game if
we are to stand a chance of finishing first in our group, a tough enough group which
also includes Italy. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that we will qualify as I want my son
to experience the excitement of Ireland taking part in the next tournament in South Africa.
He was really too young to appreciate Ireland's participation in the 2002 World Cup which ended dramatically
in Saipan after the bust-up between one of our best players, Roy Keane, and the manager Mick
Irish fans still remember the euphoria which greeted the team's performance in Italia '90 when
we reached the quarter finals. The country was ecstatic that at last we were taking our place
among the footballing nations of the world.
I remember it for another reason - we got married in the middle of the tournament.
Update: We won 2-1 :)