So we are playing the Faroe Islands, a nice trip south to a Portuguese island right?
No, you might be incorrectly combining the Portuguese city of Faro with the Madeira islands. The Faroes are midway between Scotland and Iceland and are a self-governing community within the Kingdom of Denmark.
Oh. So we won’t be facing Cristiano Ronaldo?
No, he will be playing for Portugal against Northern Ireland in PortO.
Well, that is a relief. So do the Faroes have any famous footballers?
Well you probably remember Jens Martin Kundson but most likely only because he used to wear a knitted white bobble hat on his head during games. He played 65 times for the Faroe Islands, including making his debut in their first ever international in 1988. He played in their famous 1-0 first ever-competitive win when they beat Austria in 1990. The teams will meet each other later in this Brazil 2014 qualifying group.
Their current goalkeeper Gunnar Nielsen is training with Manchester City, but not contracted after being released recently, and Odmar Faero plays with Forfar Athletic in the Scottish second division.
Frodi Benjaminsen is their current captain. He is the third most capped player ever for the national team with 70 caps. He has had playing spells with Fram Reykjavik and currently plays for HB Torshavn, the oldest and most successful club in Faroe Islands football. He scored two goals in their last competitive campaign.
The remainder of the squad plays their club football in the Faroes, Norwegian, Icelandic or Danish leagues.
So have Ireland played the Faroe Islands before?
Yes, we played them as part of the qualification for the 2006 World Cup. Ireland won 2-0 in Lansdowne Road and followed that up with a 2-0 win in Torshavn when Brian Kerr was in charge of Ireland.
Ah, Brian Kerr, doesn’t he manage the Faroes now?
No, Kerr stepped down as manager at the conclusion of the qualification stage for EURO 2012 after a successful spell managing the islanders.
Succeeding Kerr as manager is Lars Olsen, the 84 times cap Danish centre back who during his playing career won a European Championship medal and managed Randers to a Danish cup win along with also managing Odense.
In competitive games under Kerr’s watch, the Faroe Islands beat Lithuania, drew at home with Northern Ireland and beat Estonia 2-0 (their first Euro qualifier win since 1995).
Well Ireland beat Estonia 4-0 late last year so it must be a guaranteed three points for Ireland!
Do you know anything about football?!? Haven’t you heard the adage, that there are no such things as an easy game in International Football? And after Friday’s debacle this could be very ugly.
The Faroe Islands are ranked 158 in the FIFA rankings (with Ireland 28). Ranked nine places above the Faroes are Kazakhstan and they weren’t exactly a pushover last month with Ireland needing two late, late goals to gain a victory.
Faroe Island squad:
Goalkeepers: Jakup Mikkelsen (IF Fuglafjorour), Kristian Joensen (Runavik), Gunnar Nielsen (Man City – Eng).
Defenders: Odmar Faero (Forfar Athletic – Sco), Rene Joensen (Brondby – Den), Jonas Tor Naes (Valur – Ice), Rogvi Baldvinsson (Algard – Nor), Erling Jacobsen (Vikingur), Kaj Bartalsstovu (Vikingur).
Midfielders: Rogvi Holm (HB Torshavn), Jan Ellingsgaard (Fuglafjorour), Hjalgrim Elttor (Klaksvik), Suni Olsen (B36 Torshavn), Frodi Benjaminsen (HB Torshavn), Christian Holst (Silkeborg – Den), Hallur Hansson (HB Torshavn).
Forwards: Karl Lokin (Fuglafjorour), Klaemint Olsen (Runavik), Joan Simun Edmundsson (Viking Stavanger – Nor), Daniel Udsen (Helsingor – Den), Simun Samuelsen (HB Torshavn), Gilli Sorensen (Tvoroyri), Arnbjorn Hansen (Streymur)
Macdara made his debut as a football supporter in Lansdowne Road watching Ireland defeat Liechtenstein. He still believes one day he will see his club Shamrock Rovers win an FAI Cup. You can follow Macdara on twitter @macdarabueller