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Shane - It's surreal to be here

9 June 2016

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Shane Duffy admits that it has only just sunk in that he's going to be involved in a major tournament for the Republic of Ireland.

The Rovers defender's form towards the end of the league campaign saw him race into contention for a spot in Martin O'Neill's 23-man squad, and after impressive performances for the Irish in a pair of friendly matches, he successfully secured a place on the plane to France.

After a week-long training camp in Dublin, the Irish squad touched down in France yesterday evening ahead of the big tournament kick-off this Friday night and Duffy now can't wait to take part.

"I'm delighted, it has taken a while to sink in so I'm really looking forward to the tournament now," said the 24-year-old.

"It was a surprise to get the call, a couple of months ago I was well away from the squad, so it is a real honour to get the call.

"I think I did alright in the friendly games that we played, and I also got lucky with a couple of injuries, so I'm delighted to be involved.

"You grow up watching your heroes take part in these tournaments, so it is going to be surreal being part of it. I'll try and take it all in and if I get the chance hopefully I will play well."

Duffy and Ireland will be up against formidable opponents when they kick off their Euro 2016 campaign against Sweden on Monday, but the defender isn't phased at the possibility of facing Zlatan Ibrahimovic in their opener.

He added: "He's a world superstar but the team can't just focus on him, they are all good players and they are all tough teams. 

"But we are feeling positive going into the tournament, there is a good atmosphere in the camp and we can't wait to get started now."

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