Donegal’s ‘Green Army’ invades Copenhagen for World Cup play-off!

first_imgDonegal will have a strong presence in the away end of Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium tonight when Ireland and Denmark joust in the first leg of the 2018 World Cup play-off.By Chris McNulty in CopenhagenJust 2,305 tickets were available to Irish supporters. Up to 9,000 are estimated to have traveled to Copenhagan, the majority of those in a vain search for a golden ticket for the game. But, as always on nights like this, Donegal’s fervent Irish fans will be roaring on the Boys in Green.Malachy Gormley is part of the Green Army furniture by now and the Letterkenny native, with his trusted companion, Wolfie – who has clocked up as many air miles as Malachy – is confident he’ll be on the rocky road to Russia next June.Dave Gallagher from Glenfin popped into Streckers Pub on the Frederiksberggade, while Peadar Conroy from Kilcar was in last night to join Paul Boyle – with only a handful of missed games since 1974.Malachy Gormley and ‘Wolfie’Castlefin man Pauric Bell will have the ‘Donegal Boys on Tour’ flag flying proudly and is among a loyal gang with a fine attendance record. One of their number, Joanne Duffy, has been everywhere from Chișinău to Cardiff  before Copenhagen in the 2018 World Cup qualifying campaign and is in  the land of the Little Mermaid hoping to see Ireland book their place in Russia.Pauric Bell and Ryan Molloy have missed only the trip to Belgrade for the 2-2 draw with Serbia while John Duffy and Peggy Duffy saw all bar two of Ireland’s qualifiers.“It’s been a great qualifying campaign thats had everything.” Pauric said.“From the highs of winning away in Vienna and Cardiff to the lows of that poor 1-1 draw in Tbilisi.“Every away game comes with a story as well be it the seven-hour bus journey through Romania on our way to Chisinau or the five-hour train journey between Kutaisi and Tbilisi on potentially the oldest train in Georgia. Dave Gallagher and Paul Boyle in Copenhagen“The fans March to the train station is one of the stand out moments and little did we know we were finally going to get to see Ireland beat a team ranked higher than us away from home.“The scenes in Cardiff after McClean scored were special but the 30 minutes after were poor torture that felt like hours.“People often ask us why we spend so much time and effort following the Irish team well the answer to that is an easy one because we love it and nights like Vienna and Cardiff make it all worthwhile.”Donegal Daily/Donegal Sport Hub sports journalist Alan Foley rarely misses Ireland playing. If he had a flag, he’d be as famous as Davy Keogh by now. Foley, from Letterkenny, who attended Euro 2012 and Euro 2016, has the full compliment of stamps on his passport from the 2018 qualifying campaign, but one moment stands taller than any other.“McClean in Cardiff,” he says of that magical moment when James McClean netted in the 1-0 win over Wales last month.“From experience of these situations with Ireland and despite the good start to the campaign, it was always going to run to the bitter end – and even then it only gave us a 50-50 chance against a Denmark team that shouldn’t be underestimated.The Mayor of Inishowen, Sinn Féin Councillor Jack Muray, got the shock of his life when his girlfriend, Sabrina Friel, surprised him by buying him a return flight to Copenhagen.“When I was younger, a group of us used to try and get to as many away games as we could too,” Jack said.. But due to numerous reasons – mainly work commitments – I hadn’t been to any away games since the Euros in Poland.Jack Murray and Rodney CallaghanI eventually got the bug again recently though when we went to the Georgia game – unfortunately that was great trip to watch a horrendous game of football!”Six years ago, Jack was in Tallinn to watch Ireland beat Estonia 4-0 in the first leg of the Euro 2012 play-off and has been to Bulgaria, Slovakia, Russia and Poland to cheer on the Boys in Green.Carrigans duo Dan Callaghan and Rodney Callaghan are with Jack on the voyage to Denmark.“I’m hoping for a strong away leg which will set us up for Tuesday night in the Aviva,” Rodney said.“I’ll be drawing on probably our best ever qualifying performance which I saw with Jack six years to the day, in Tallinn against Estonia where we left with a four-goal advantage.  I was lucky enough to be in Lille last year when Robbie Brady scored against Italy. They left it late to get the job done that night – but a fine job it was!”Rónán Mac Niallias from Gaoth Dobhair reckons is with fellow Gweeodore native Fionnán Ó Duibhir and Marc McHugh from Milford, son of Donegal League referee Joe McHugh.Ronan Mac Niallais, Marc McHugh and Fionnan Ó DuibhirSt Johnston’s Shane Porter has the perfect record of home internationals in recent years, but tis is his first away game – and what a tie to get.“I’m buzzing for it,” Shane said.Shane Porter with Ireland player Robbie BradyRamelton man Edward McDaid and Kevin ‘Cookie’ Gallagher from Downings are among those who jetted into Copenhagen today while many other Donegal natives are making the trip from elsewhere.Finn Harps fanatic Rodney Dullaghan is now based in Stockholm in Sweden and has made his way to Copenhagen.Ireland captain Seamus Coleman might be out injured, due to a broken leg sustained playing against Wales in March, but that hasn’t dimmed the interest from south-west Donegal.Killybegs men Shaun Conaghan and Jason Byrne team up with Ardara natives Paddy McGill, Matthew Maher, Hugh Shovlin and Christopher Campbell for the trip.Inishowen League secretary Diarmuid O’Brien flew into the Danish capital this morning while Paddy McGuinness is leading a delegation from Carndonagh.Paddy McGill and friends in CopenhagenDonegal’s ‘Green Army’ invades Copenhagen for World Cup play-off! was last modified: November 11th, 2017 by Chris McNultyShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:2018 World Cup2018 World Cup play-offCopenhagenDENMARKdonegalMartin O’NeillRepublic of Irelandlast_img

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