Saturday 24 March 2018

We'll back you! Poznan fans on the ball as they vow to follow Trap's boys

SUPPORT: 'Ireland is very popular, it's like our second home'

THOUSANDS of Polish supporters are expected to add their voices in support of the Irish team during the Euro 2012 championships.

Poznan fans, famous across the world for their dedication and orchestrated celebrations, have vowed to shout for Ireland when our boys in green compete in their city against Croatia and Italy in June.

Poznan Local Tourist Organisation director Jan Mazurczak told the Herald that locals would never back the favourites.

"It's true that Poznan fans support a team from Krakow which wears red and white like the Croatian strip.

"But it's not about jerseys, Poland has a culture of supporting the underdog," Mr Mazurczak said.

"Particularly in Poznan because our local team is quite weak and we like to see strong teams being defeated, because that means there is still a chance for us as well.


"Ireland will be the underdog so Poznan fans will support them. I am sure of it."

Mr Mazurczak added that the two countries also had strong cultural and historical connections because of recent migration.

"Ireland is very popular because there are so many Polish living over there, we all have friends and relatives based in Dublin or around the country. It's like our second home.

"We compare your culture to our culture we have the same way of celebrating, with the pub culture and the singing.

"We think the Irish fans will make a very friendly atmosphere -- and as you can see today, we like atmosphere, we like colour and the Irish fans will create both in the city and the stadium."

Speaking at the Poznan City Stadium, Euro 2012 spokesman Damian Zalewski, revealed that the local team had finally broken its run of bad luck, after winning 2-0 against one of its biggest rivals Slask Wroclaw last Sunday.

The two goals were the first scored by Lech Poznan in over three months.

"This will put less pressure on Irish players coming over, afraid of repeating what happened to the Poznan team," Mr Zalewski said.

Mr Mazurczak said: "It is a good omen for the Irish team -- Poznan finally score when Irish citizens come over so let's hope Ireland has the same good luck, and wins 2-0 against Croatia and Italy when it comes over here." Locals attending this weekend's event celebrated the win by "doing the Poznan" -- a move that has become synonymous with this modern university city, which involves turning their backs to the opposing team and mock fighting.

"They're only pretending to go into a mosh pit -- everything is very organised and no one gets hurt otherwise they will be kicked out of the stand reserved for the most dedicated fans," said Mr Zalewski.


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