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Our man in Poznan is one smooth mover (his words)

by Paddy Power Admin | June 9, 2012

By Ciaran O Raghallaigh in Poland

In UEFA terms, today is ‘Matchday minus 1’. It’s a little Star Trekish in terms of countdowns, but no matter, it means we’re *just* about there.

The snooze button was my enemy this morning, as myself and some colleagues faced a 6.18am train from Sopot to Poznan.

I’d like to say I high-fived Mario Balotelli on the way out of my room, telling him to ‘leave it as you found it, big man’, but alas, the Italians hadn’t yet arrived.

Ciaran O Raghallaigh and a train

MAKING A POINT: Ciaran successfully identifies a train

A Train

ON THE RIGHT TRACK: He expected the toilet scene from Trainspotting. Not this

The train journey was smoother than George Clooney on weed, and got us into Poznan just about four hours after we left. That’s one pre-tournament scare story out of the way, at least.

The way public transport was sold to me was to think of Trainspotting — then think of the toilet scene — then think of sitting in that with a large gang of hooligans dressed like the Rubberbandits.

On to the hotel, and once again, I’m delighted to report the taxis here are cheaper than a very cheap thing. My hotel, right beside Poznan airport, is just a tenner from the stadium, and there’s a bunch of Croats and Irish fans already there. Should be fun tomorrow night.

Either way, I’d imagine a few free beers will be on the go.

Poznan stadium

GORGEOUS CURVES: Here’s the stadium where Ireland will beat Croatia


On to the Municipal Stadium in Poznan, and it’s quite the sight from outside, but there’s a fair bit to go through before you get inside. Major tournaments can be notoriously messy for media, but given it’s the first in 10 years for us Irish, nobody should dare complain. That’d be like shagging Kelly Brook and then telling her you didn’t like how she groans.

Media Centre

HARD AT IT: As you can see, journos are all still in bed. Not our man


Apart from struggling to find my name (seriously, Poland, I’d take that in most countries, but you lot have more consonants than citizens!) things went smoothly and here I am in the Press centre, writing this. There’s a few pics of the place attached, as well as some of the ‘goodies’ included in the ‘media bag’.

If any camper van drivers need a parking spot right outside the front door, drop me a line!


GIFT: Those nice souls at UEFA gave Irish media a little ball to play with


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