As Ireland sit proudly on top of Group D in their world cup qualifying group with ten points their Killybegs captain, Seamus Coleman, has spoken of his huge pride after last night’s heroic win in Austria.
Hoarse from shouting instructions to his team, Coleman told Tony O’Donoghue of RTÉ sport that he was not surprised by the performance put in by his fellow Ulsterman, James McClean:
“We rode our luck a few times, but with the likes of Johnny Walters up top and James McClean, with his back hanging off, to put in a performance like that.
"We know it’s three points but it is massive.”
Coleman, who has been described as ‘captain fantastic’ by regular and online media outlets this morning, heaped praise on everyone involved, as is his nature:
“Brilliant, massive three points. I say it all the time, when I come out with this group of lads it is a privilege, we know.
“We know it’s three points but it is massive.
“We have fantastic fans too, three and a half thousand fans came out here to support us on, it’s massive, and it means so much to us as well.”
With his voice breaking he praised McClean again: “He’s really taken to the green shirt, since the ‘Euro’s’ he’s been brilliant, you know what you are going to get from James as well, what a finish, three points, a long way to go, but we are really happy and we are very proud of our fans.”
The Group D table shows Ireland on top with 10 points, Serbia on 8, Wales on 6 and Austria on 4, Georgia on 2 and Moldova with one point.
Back at home in the Hills where we have had more than our quota of greats in the green jersey (Packie and Shay to name just two), you could almost hear them say: 'Good man Seamie, keep her lit' -- no bother to our boy, the pride of Donegal . . .