Norwich City relegation pain is driving on Robbie Brady ahead of Euro 2016 bow
- Credit: PA
The pain of Norwich City's Premier League relegation will never leave Robbie Brady but the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2016 quest is part of his healing process.
Brady, club-mate Wes Hoolahan and the rest of Martin O'Neill's Irish squad arrived in France on Wednesday ahead of Monday's Group E opener against Martin Olsson's Sweden. The 24-year-old was one of the Canaries' stand-out performers in a debut season at Carrow Road that ended on a sour note with a Championship return.
'I won't say I'm trying to shake relegation off, because it will never leave you, but I want to put it to the back of my mind now, and think only of Ireland,' he said. 'The Euros feel very real now. When I'm with family members and friends it's all they can speak about. It's got this aura about it all of a sudden and the conversation is about how many Irish are going to France and how they're going to get there. It's my first tournament and an amazing opportunity for me. When I was younger, playing in something like this was all I ever wanted to do. Now I'm getting a chance to do what the 70,000 to 100,000 people travelling to France all wish they could do. I feel very lucky.'
Brady missed training earlier this week as a precaution with a back spasm, but is poised to feature against the Swedes.
'I went to lift my little girl out of the bath the other day and as soon as I bent down to pick her up I just felt something go a small bit,' he said. 'I got a night's sleep then and when I woke up I was a bit tight and stiff. In the past, I think we felt like total outsiders, but I have a really good feeling about how we might do. We've had great momentum in the run up to it. Playing with this group of lads, I really feel we're tough opponents. We've got some dangerous players and that's such a massive weapon to have in tournament football.'
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