Irish fans looking for Spanish boost ahead of Aldo visit

Ireland’s Euro 2012 fortunes may have taken a blow following Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Croatia, but soccer fans locally are eyeing up the arrival of one of the country’s all-time greats.

Ireland’s Euro 2012 fortunes may have taken a blow following Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Croatia, but soccer fans locally are eyeing up the arrival of one of the country’s all-time greats.

Former Liverpool and Ireland striker John Aldridge will be the star attraction at Foley’s Bar, Ballymahon Street in Longford town on Friday evening (June 15).

The prolific goalscorer is expected to run the rule over Ireland’s European adventure, a day after Giovanni Trappatoni’s side face reigning world and European champions, Spain in Gdansk.

Dan Foley, the bar’s proprietor said Aldridge’s anticipated arrival has caused quite a stir amongst locals.

“He is due to arrive at 7pm to watch the England v Sweden game. After that, there will be a 45 minute session about his life and times followed by a question and answer session,” said an excited Mr Foley.

No more than an occasional visitor to the midlands in recent years, it’s the FA Cup winner’s first taste of Longford hospitality, according to Mr Foley.

“It (Aldridge visit) has been in the pipeline for a while,” he said. “It was just hard to get him with his schedule.”

Sunday’s defeat to Slaven Bilic’s Croatian outfit means a similar result to Spain tomorrow evening (Thursday) will all but end any hopes of Irish progression to the knock out stages of Euro 2012.

That said, the Longford town bar owner is still hoping that come Friday night, supporters will still have plenty to grill the 69 cap striker on in two weeks time.

“I personally think we (Ireland) will get out of the group, but that’s my own view,” he said, revealing customers can also avail of a pre match barbeque before every Ireland game, the chance to win €200 by simply purchasing a pint while watching each game on a monster 10x10 screen.

“You never know, we (Liverpool) might have a new manager in place by then, so that will be something else to talk about,” he added.