Ireland to welcome Red Devil’s
By Ryan Kane.
In Ireland you won’t go far without finding an individual with a deep passion for Manchester United. This August the Red Devil’s will arrive in the country to play in Dublin’s newly opened Aviva Stadium. Sir Alex’s men will take on an all-star eleven from Ireland’s domestic “Airticity League”. The clash on the 4th of August will be the first football match in the Aviva since the multi-million pound complex was completed in May 2010.
United are set to field a strong-ish side as they prepare for their 2010/11 Premier League campaign. Rumours have speculated that the match taking place at the 50,000 seater stadium could have sold out three times over, giving you just a small flavour of the demand for United in the country. Irish internationals John O’Shea and Darren Gibson are likely to start for United on home soil whilst fringe players at Old Trafford such as Richie de Laet and Paul Pogba are also expected to make an appearance.
Tickets for the match are due to go on sale in the next couple of days with fans who attended the international friendlies against Paraguay and Algeria given first option.. The Football Association of Ireland CEO John Delaney stated earlier in the year that he was “delighted” the first football match to take place in the Aviva stadium would see a representative Airtricity League side in action against one of the top sides in the world. The Airtricity XI will be managed by Damien Richardson who has spent spells in charge of Shamrock Rovers, Shelbourne and Cork City. Richardson will have no age or nationality restrictions in selecting his squad for the match.
Manchester United chief executive David Gill said that it was a “great honour to have been invited to play the opening football match in the Aviva stadium”. The devoted supporters who often make the journey to watch United at Old Trafford on match day was also acknowledged by Gill. He stated that “their (United fans in Ireland) loyalty and willingness to undertake long trips to support their team is remarkable” before going on to say “the players always enjoy their visits to Ireland and I’m sure this occasion will be a memorable one.”
A pulsating atmosphere is expected when these two teams meet in Dublin on August 4th.United will begin their Premier League campaign ten days later as they welcome newly promoted Newcastle United to Old Trafford.
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