There were smiles and songs, thanks and promises from the stage last night as the Republic of Ireland Women’s Team enjoyed a homecoming hosted by Dublin City Council with 8,000 fans in front of the GPO.

Vera Pauw and the management and backroom team were first up, then each of the players were named up on stage to rapturous applause from the crowd. Denise O’Sullivan, Kyra Caruso and Marissa Sheva wer among those who had to go straight back to their clubs and did not get to see the fans but for the rest there was this opportunity ahead of a break that is unlikely to be more than 10 days or two weeks.

Everybody was happy and smiling, with no indication in front of the public of the tension which has been bubbling since the tournament ended for the team.

A first qualification, a first goal and a first point were the milestones that can never be taken away and the cheers for Vera Pauw were equal to those for Katie McCabe, and then for Courtney Brosnan, and then fort Niamh Fahey and Louise Quinn.

The fans only saw heroes and the reviews and contracts are for another day.

Louise Quinn admitted she would be one of the most enthusiastic going back to her club Birmingham City which was yesterday confirmed as the latest active sporting investment of NFL legend Tom Brady.

“A transfer request to bring in Katie McCabe should be high on his list,” she said to the crowd.

Amber Barrett got to sing the Wild Rover and then it was off the stage and back to reality.

The hope is though that the fans inspired will continue to watch the World Cup, shaping up to be a brilliant tournament with the United States Sweden Quarter final an obvious highlight of the Round of 16 over the weekend.

Then that they will follow the sport through their heroes in the Women’s Super League and closer to home in the SSE Airtricity Premier Division.

Before this the last time the Republic of Ireland got to a World cup finals was 21 years ago. The youngest kids with their face paint on last night could be the veterans of future tournaments though hopefully it will not be as big a gap to the next.

That’s what tournament and structure reviews are there for, regardless of the personalities and the occasional speed bump in relationships.