With 2017 underway, Irish fans have plenty to be looking forward to. Aside from some tantalising fixtures on the horizon so much more lies in wait. COMING SOON! A Trump led nuclear apocalypse, a new series of â€œDancing with the Starsâ€, and the small matter of a potential trip to Russia to be resolved.
2016 was a vintage year for followers of les garcons en verte. France witnessed the Wessiah notching against Sweden, the lads routing Italy 1 nil, and Robbie Brady getting the mooch off (who we hope was his) missus in the stands which was overshadowed in the romance stakes by MONROY having an on pitch cuddle together apres match. Love was definitely in the air. Whilst the team were doing the biz on the pitch, the travelling green army charmed the locals by picking up rubbish, fixing tyre punctures, chatting up nuns on trains and generally being specialists in the field of banter. So good at the craic were we, the French gave us medals to prove it. And with lads getting millions of views on the interweb for helping aul wans take their washing in off the line, we know what you are thinking.
How can I be the next International acclaimed medal waving Irish Superfan Sensation on the old youtube?
Fear not! We are here to help. Following these easy steps will have Putin pinning a â€œHero of the Russian republicâ€ medal on your chest once the embassy gets you released from the gulag for hugging your same sex mate outside a bar after he managed to sing the 12 Paul McGraths after 28 pints.
1: Itâ€™s not cheap following the Boys in Green so cut back on unnecessary expenses by not going to home matches, well not the crap ones like Georgia or some other backward nation. With costs to watch LOI game running into double figures, get your fix by supporting a Premier league team and simply watching from a pub or home. We recommend a boozer as you can join in the craic slagging your â€œMancâ€ and â€œScouseâ€ mates from Dunshaughlin and Artane.
2: Once a glamour fixture arrives, pull every string you have at your disposal to get a ticket. If you encounter any issues at all, brand the whole situation a joke and send an email to a high ranking person in the FAI or a local politician. Once youâ€™re not a joe soap and have a bit of pull then youâ€™ll be looked after.
3: Being a SuperFan is not a part time gig and can be mentally and physically exhausting. Conservation of energy is key. Cut back on your workload by simply doing less in the office. Fill in the gaps in the day by arguing with other posters on the YBIG forum about why MONROY have not started various English lads with Irish surnames currently plying their trade in the â€˜Big Johnâ€™s Midland Conferenceâ€™ league in their last game.
4: Know your fringe players and reference them regularly (see point above). This is a wonderful tool to not only belittle those around you but it provides the opportunity to berate their perceived lack of knowledge. Knowing that Chris Forrester is a Bohs fan who doesnâ€™t take sugar in his tea can be the difference from being conversationally sidelined on that train journey to Moscow to being elevated right up to the position of Alpha supporter by your awestruck companions. Fast track your process through the sly use of Google/Football manager. If the info youâ€™re searching for isnâ€™t available online, even better. You are now free to make something up. The more obscure the better.
So now you are ready to represent the Green Army.
Foist your assistance on to unsuspecting foreigners whether they want it or not, wear horse heads and boot footballs at apartment windows in busy foreign capital squares as members of the public try to eat their lunch, embellish our flag with Father Ted quotes. Do all these things, but remember to film it all for the nobodies at home who didnâ€™t make the sessionâ€¦ sorry I mean match, then you too can be a true Irish Superfan.
Words by Simon Roche