Long looking forward to Ireland's clash with Belarus

By SFC Media time Tue 31 May Club

Shane Long and Republic of Ireland will finish off their EURO 2016 preparations tonight at the stadium where the Saints striker’s professional career began.

Martin O’Neill’s team will face Belarus, at Cork City’s Turner’s Cross ground, in their final friendly match before this summer’s tournament begins.

For Long, it will be an occasion that carries a bit of additional significance, with Cork having been his first club.

"It should be good,” he said. "That’s where it all started for me. I’ve got a lot of good memories there, so it will be nice to go back down there and see a few familiar faces, hopefully get on the pitch and maybe grab a goal and go to France on a high.”

Long scored in last Friday’s 1-1 draw with Netherlands, in Dublin, and he explained that the sense of anticipation for the EUROs is well and truly building.

"The whole country’s buzzing,” said the striker, who is expected to be named in O’Neill’s final 23-man squad later today.

"France won’t know what’s hit it when all the Irish come over. I’ve got a lot of family going over as well, and all they can talk about back home is the EUROs. The whole country is excited and hopefully we can do them proud."

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