herald

Sunday 17 December 2017

The Irish have landed

TRAP'S army has started pouring into Poznan today with just four days to kick off for Ireland's Euro dream.

Thousands of fans are expected in the Polish city in the next 24 hours as Ireland settled into their base in Gdynia.

Trains, planes and automobiles of all shapes and sizes are coming over the border from Germany as the atmosphere builds to fever pitch.

Yesterday the locals in Gydnia put on some show for the Irish team, doing a decent impression of the Green Army.

An astonishing crowd of just under 15,000 turned out to see captain Robbie Keane and his squad perform a public training session at the team's training camp.

Ireland have had the biggest attendance of any of the competing teams' sessions so far as the 15,000-capacity GOSiR stadium, the brand spanking new home to second division side Arka Gdynia, was almost full for the session yesterday.

The vast majority of the crowd were locals with only a handful of Irish.

Most of the Green Army are settling into Poznan four hours away for Sunday's match against Croatia.

Stewards and police were on hand to keep an eye on things and they were only called into action on one occasion.

One small group of locals - said to be an anarchist group - unfurled a homemade banner, which read "F*** €uro".

In the very same stand just a few minutes earlier, a massive tricolour with the words "Welcome to Gdynia" was let loose as captain Keane and his players took to the field for their training session.

Heavy-handed stewards, on alert for any negative publicity for co-hosts Poland, immediately moved in and removed the banner while the protesters were bustled away.

But it was an otherwise warm welcome for the Irish players.

afitzmaurice@herald.ie

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