Irish fans have begun to stream into the seaside town of Sopot as Ireland prepare for their Group C opener against Croatia.
As the photo above makes clear, and a party mood has enveloped the green army who have made their way by plane, train – and van – to Poland.
Derek Breheny and Joe Vaughan, from Ballinasloe, Co Galway, say they should have been camping in Gdansk but the site has not been completed in time and they’ve found themselves with a sleepless night of a different kind looking for accommodation in Sopot.
Ready to make a beeline to the team’s Sheraton Hotel, Mr Breheny – a regular visitor to these parts thanks to a romance with his 32-year-old Polish girlfriend Deotya Talaga – sipped his pint of pilsner and took it all in.
“Sure the bed in the hostel here will be softer than the ground over there,” he said.
Down the street, Mr Vaughan, an unemployed former factory worker, and his blocklayer friend spotted the local cartoonist’s latest drawing – Trapattoni with a pitch perfect take on Barack Obama’s “Is Feidir Linn”. Shay Given apparently did a double-take as he hurriedly walked by.
In the Irish camp, there is a relaxed air among the players and coaching staff.
Trapattoni gave his players an unexpected day off to recharge their batteries ahead of Sunday’s opening Group C fixture against Croatia in Poznan.
Goalkeeping coach Alan Kelly, a veteran of the World Cups in the United States in 1994 and the Far East eight years later, knows how testing the build-up can be but he is convinced the current crop could not have had it better.
He said: “Ninety-four was probably as far away from this as you can imagine.
“Orange County, we were based in. We weren’t allowed water during training sessions for 90 minutes.
“I remember me and Packie [Bonner] had three or four tops on. It was 90 degrees (Fahrenheit), 80 per cent humidity and I think we averaged between 16 and 18 pounds a day in weight-loss in sweat because we trained twice.
“It was just totally different. You look at the facilities – the hotel is absolutely fantastic over here. It is a great spot as well.
“One thing I remember is that we used to train in ’94 in the morning. You would lose your eight or nine pounds and the doc would come in and say for every pound you had lost, you had to drink one of these [a bottle of water].
“He would line them up. It was like Cool Hand Luke with the eggs. You never actually recuperated. You looked at it and thought, ‘I’ll have a couple’.
“What I also remember is that you didn’t have soup or something you could get down you. We had the driest dough bread, so you didn’t really eat, you didn’t recuperate.
“Then you went out in the afternoon when it got hotter.”
Kelly has spent the last few days nursing current number one keeper Shay Given through a series of niggles, but he is confident the Aston Villa man will be ready for Sunday’s opening Group C game against Croatia in Poznan.
With Spain and Italy to come, that could prove crucial to the Republic’s hopes of reaching the quarter-finals, but Kelly is convinced they can make an impact.
He said: “They [the players] have got such a belief.
“If you look, we are unbeaten away from home and if you want to look at it simply, we have got three away games. That’s how we look at it.
“We perform so well away from home, and we are sort of set up for it – we beat the Italians last year in Liege.
“We have got such an inner belief. It sounds easy to say here, but they have backed it up with the results they have got away from home.
“We don’t want to shout it from the rooftops, but we go out thinking and knowing that we can get results.”