Picture the scene. You awake in your lake-side retreat to the dawn chorus of ‘Come on You Boys in Green’. You unzip your front door to look out across an entire tented village of your compatriots on a little plot of Ireland in the middle of Poland. And what’s more you didn’t even have to bring your own sleeping bag.
For the thousands of Irish fans mapping the highways and byways of Europe in a bid to bolster Trap’s Army in June, an Irish fan’s camp-site, complete with a stage area featuring live bands, will greet them on the shores of Lake Malta in Poznan.
DB Sports Tours are setting up an Irish Fan Village for eleven days during the European Championship this summer.
The Irish company have been carefully planning with their Polish colleagues, the Polish embassy, Polish Football Association and Poznan Town Council. They can now confirm the final stages of planning for the Irish Fans Village June 2012.
“After months of delegation with the biggest Polish events company and trips back and forth to one of the most beautiful countries in Europe; we are delighted to announce the Irish Fan Village for Euro 2012 at Lake Malta in Poznan,” Antonio Mantero of DB Sports Tours told Póg Mo Goal.
Over 13,000 Irish fans are said to have traveled to Euro ’88 in the midst of a crippling recession (sound familiar?) Over 10,000 went to Italia ’90; 12,000 traveled from the Republic to USA ’94, and over 9,000 are said to have trekked to Japan for World Cup 2002.
Irish numbers expected this summer for the Euro finals range anywhere between eleven and 30,000. FAI chief Executive John Delaney believes the number will be close to 25,000 but according to Antonio, the Mayor of Poznan is expecting up to 35,000 Irish from all over Europe to descend on Poland come June.
The Irish Fans Village will create a little bit of home in Eastern Europe.
“Most fans will travel across seas, over land and through various countries; others by plane, trains and automobiles. Most have nowhere to stay and hotels are full and overpriced to the max. Football fans are budgeting down to the last cent. We can make their journey and memories all the better. We can create a home from home. We can cater for up to 9,000 Irish fans camping, 250 camper vans and 30,000 in our Entertainment Zone,” said Antonio.
DB Sports Tours promise the biggest ever Irish fan base for an international football tournament with all the necessities for everyone supporting the Boys in Green.
Features of the Irish Fan Village at Malta Lake include pre-booked accommodation, pitched tents, camping equipment on site, hot showers, toilets, drinking water, shops, secure lockers, camper van park, dial home zone , village TV, First Aid area, lighting, and 24hr security & CCTV.
The entertainment area will include a stage area featuring Irish acts, a gaming area, and food & drink zone.
Already over 4,100 people have registered and the official website will be launched in the coming days.
Having waited ten years to return to a major tournament, the Irish are expected to make up one of the biggest supporters’ contingents at Euro 2012. The Green Army will arrive in Poland from all corners of the globe but with a Fan Village awaiting them, they’ll be fed and watered and ready to take on Europe’s best, and that’s just on the terraces.
You can sign up for email newsletters here