The Republic of Ireland take on Poland in an international friendly match this week at the Aviva Stadium, and the ‘game’ is being extended to take in a series of meetings between fans as well.
The marketing of the game has been underway since the end of last year with an impressive dual approach to both Irish fans and to the extensive Polish community here that has made Ireland its home.
Advertising has been undertaken bilingually and the hope for tomorrow is to recapture some of the spririt among fans that was so evident in Sopot and elsewhere across Poland during Ireland’s participation in the 2012 European Championship Finals.
The reaching out to fans of both sides extends to a two hour session of fans five a side games taking place during the afternoon at Irishtown Stadium in Ringsend, less than 2 kilometres from the Aviva Stadium.
Individuals or teams can register to play in the event being organised jointly by the two football associations, Dublin City Council and supported by the Gathering.
The event is free of charge and there will be shower facilities, dressing rooms, cloak rooms for storing bags while playing, free food and music and a street football challenge area.
The activities will include a series of 5 aside friendly matches managed by a team of FAI coaches. They will mix teams so that Polish people play alongside Irish people to encourage good interaction. Bibs and balls will all be provided. Participants just need to bring their own playing gear. All surfaces are artificial.
There will also be a street football warm up area with skill challenges including tyres, street signs, bins etc. The emphasis is on fun and participation. Pre registration is required and if you are interested, you can register here. Teams are welcome as well as individual applicants. Players must be over 18.
It could provide a good team bonding session for corporate teams who can spare some of their individuals for an extended late lunch break and deserves to be a success.