Everton’s Seamus Coleman has revealed his excitement ahead of playing in the upcoming Euro 2016 Championships for the Republic of Ireland.
Blues team-mates and international colleagues Coleman and James McCarthy were named in manager Martin O’Neill’s 23-man squad for the tournament in France.
It will be the first time that the Toffees pair have featured for their home nation in an international competition.
And 28-year-old Coleman told Everton’s official site that he and midfielder McCarthy are eager to make the most of the opportunity presented to them.
“I can’t wait,” the right back stated.
“Neither of us have played at a major tournament before so this will be a first and it’s exciting it’s so close now. Making my debut for my country was a proud moment but playing at the Euros will probably beat that.
“It’s a obviously a big step up in terms of the football from the qualifiers but we’re looking forward to that challenge.
“I’m excited for that first game and getting out there, soaking up the atmosphere and trying to perform on one of the biggest stages in international football.”
Coleman also said that Ireland were ready to make up for the disappointment of their overall performance at the last European Championships.
The Irish failed to pick up a single point at Euro 2012 as they finished bottom of their group – but Coleman says that tournament in Poland-Ukraine was not playing on the squad’s minds ahead of this year’s competition.
“What happened four years ago is long forgotten among the players. We had a very tough group with Italy and Spain, who both went on to get to the final,” the 33-times capped international added.
“We have got a freshness now with Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane in charge and the manager believes that we can beat anyone – we showed that when we beat Germany at home in the qualifiers, which maybe people didn’t expect.
“But what’s happened before doesn’t matter now. All we’re focused on is getting out of our group and then seeing where that takes us.”
Coleman and McCarthy are joined in Ireland’s squad by Everton team-mate Aiden McGeady, who has spent the second half of last season on loan at Sheffield Wednesday.