EURO 2016: Shane Ferguson hoping that Euro 2016 dream comes true

Tamnaherin man Shane Ferguson is looking forward to Northern Irelands opening European Championships encounter against Poland, this Sunday. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye
Tamnaherin man Shane Ferguson is looking forward to Northern Irelands opening European Championships encounter against Poland, this Sunday. Picture by Brian Little/Presseye

A dream come true is how Shane Ferguson describes the prospect of playing for Northern Ireland in the European Championships.

Michael O’Neill’s side face Poland in Nice on Sunday in their opening game in Group C and they go into the competition as the in-form team.

Northern Ireland are now 12 games unbeaten - the best record than any other side in the tournament.

The talented winger, who played 86 minutes in Saturday night’s scoreless draw against Slovakia in Michael O’Neill men’s final friendly, would love to dawn the Green and White jersey this weekend.

“It would be a dream come true if I were to play,” he said.

“I’m just going to train hard and give the manager something to think about.”

Only a few weeks ago the Tamnaherin man suffered play-off heartache at Wembley, as Millwall lost the League One final to Barnsley, but now he’s totally focused for what will be Northern Ireland’s first major tournament in 30 years.

“The play-off final was so disappointing but we probably knew we were second best and didn’t deserve to win,” he added.

“I was straight on the plane to Euros so had to put it to the back of my mind.

“I need to fully concentrate here to try and play some role. This will definitely make up for past disappointments and I am so excited.”

Meanwhile Northern Ireland suffered an injury scare at training yesterday.

Striker Kyle Lafferty picked up a slight a groin problem after sliding in for a challenge, during a session at their training base in Parc de Montchervet, Saint-Georges-de-Reneins.

However boss Michael O’Neill confirmed that the big front man, who scored seven times during the qualifying campaign, is fine and he’ll be ready for Sunday’s opener against Poland.

“He’s fine, it was precautionary, we have no major concerns there,” confirmed the Northern Ireland gaffer.

“It was a little twist but on examination I don’t expect any issues at all, we were just being careful.

O’Neill even joked that the 28-year-old was more concerned that he had to get into the ice-bath rather that his groin problem.

“He just twisted it a little bit, as his feet when from under him, the pitch is hard; but we are always liable for those little situations to happen, but there’s no major concerns at all. I’m more concerned about the thunder and lightning to be honest. He’s probably a bit scared to get into the ice bath, but that’s the way he is most days; but he’s fine and it’s all good.”