Monday 6 June 2016

Northern Ireland Arrive In France Ahead Of Euro 2016

Northern Ireland players have arrived in France exactly one week before they play Poland in their first ever European Championships match. They were greeted by the Mayor of Saint Georges de Reneins, the town where they will train for the duration of the tournament. 

Manager Michael O'Neill said “It's nice to have this welcome after a tough game in Slovakia. It's been a short flight across so it's been a good day for the players. There's a sense of excitement now, and this is a new experience for all of us so we're going to embrace the whole week that lies ahead. We have a massive game to open the tournament against Poland in Nice and we'll get our focus when we get to the hotel later tonight [Sunday]. It's the message to the supporters as well [to embrace the tournament]. We're going to bring thousands out and we're delighted to be here and it's a fantastic achievement. Having said that, we want to leave our mark on the tournament and the main thing is it's a positive experience and enjoyable for everyone. We'll only do that if we continue to play like we have done recently. We come here in a good state, 12 games unbeaten, and we want to make sure we try and extend that once the tournament begins”.

Having missed Saturday's goalless draw with Slovakia because he was getting married, Leeds United winger Stuart Dallas joined his team-mates at Bratislava airport for the flight.  Centurion Aaron Hughes was afforded a fitting round of applause by his team-mates and staff as he boarded, after winning his 100th cap in Trnava.

Take-off was initially delayed with the plane forced to wait on the runway as Slovakian air authorities allowed a thunderstorm to pass, but the team has now travelled to their base north of Lyon ahead of a training session tomorrow.


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