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Friday 9 December 2016

Blank summer not an option

Seamus Coleman is keen to have a taste of what his Everton team-mate Mo Besic experienced in the 2014 World Cup.
Seamus Coleman is keen to have a taste of what his Everton team-mate Mo Besic experienced in the 2014 World Cup.

Others might disagree, but Seamus Coleman is convinced that he wasn't good enough to deserve a place in Ireland's squad for Euro 2012.

Of course, Ireland, as a team, weren't good enough to make it to the 2014 World Cup where a classy-looking Bosnia-Herzegovina side, the Republic's opponents over the next two play-off games, certainly didn't let themselves down.

But Coleman is now older, wiser and better and he admits he will be distraught if 2016 sees him with another blank summer of watching games at a major finals on TV instead of being there in the heart of the action.

"I'd be gutted," said Coleman, thankfully back at full speed with club and country after a spell out with injury and illness.

"I don't want to finish without playing for Ireland at a big tournament. Growing up as a kid, I'm a fan. I'm playing [now] but I'm a fan and I want my friends to be out there supporting me, my town to be supporting me and it's something that I want to do.

"All the lads will be doing all we can to get there and if we can all just put in a proper shift for the two games, everyone work hard for each other, help each other. I really think we can do it."

Mo Besic, now a club-mate at Everton, enjoyed a spell on the big stage with Bosnia in the 2014 World Cup and Coleman is keen for the same in 2016, at the expense of Besic.

Tournament

"They really enjoyed that last tournament, that World Cup," he says.

"Mo himself did very well in it and got a move. It's exciting times for everyone in a tournament. Especially the Irish, everyone knows how much the Irish get behind the team, it's just something I'd love to happen," added Coleman, unhappy at being a spectator in 2014.

"You're on your holidays, you're getting a break. It's always nice for us to get away on holidays with your wife. But it's nice to go down to the bar (I don't drink), have a Coke and watch the games - but you just want to be there, you're so envious. It's something that I really want to do before I finish."

Its argued - often by his own friends and family - that Coleman should have spent the summer of 2012 in Poland with Ireland instead of watching the tournament on TV in Fawlty's, his local in Killybegs.

"A lot of people think I should [have been there], if the tournament had been a year earlier then yeah, I should have been there. I had done quite well when I broke through, but in my second season, I was playing right midfield, I had quite a few injuries and my form wasn't the best," he says.

"I have the greatest respect for (Giovanni) Trapattoni, a lot of people thought I should have been there but I never complained about not being there, I had a few injuries, I didn't play as many games as I'd have liked and my form wasn't where I wanted it to be. Had I been playing at right back for my club then I'd like to think I had a better chance but I had no complaints, but a year earlier, maybe I should have been there."

He speaks about the drive that's got him to where he is now. "Since I went to England I never felt 'I had made it'. Even after that good season I never felt I had made it - and still today. I think you can't get too comfortable. That bad season made me think 'come on, you could be out of here in a year if you don't sharpen up'.

"This is something that I want massively because I missed out on the last European championships, so it's something I'm really hungry for."

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