MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 13:24:55| >> :600:1211610:1211610:
Nov 18, 2019 at 7.45pm UK at Aviva Stadium
Attendance: 51,700
Rep. IrelandRepublic of Ireland
Doherty (85')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Glenn Whelan admits Denmark clash could be his "last big night" for Ireland

Glenn Whelan admits Denmark clash could be his
© Reuters
The midfielder thought his international career was over.

Glenn Whelan is treating the Republic of Ireland's Euro 2020 shoot-out with Denmark is if it is his last big game.

The 35-year-old Hearts midfielder thought his international career had drawn to a close during the latter part of Martin O'Neill's reign as manager, but he has returned under Mick McCarthy to establish himself in the team once again.

However, with his 36th birthday fast approaching in January, he knows he has to savour every last minute he has left wearing the green shirt of Ireland and Monday night's quest for qualification could be as big as it gets.

Whelan said: "This is what we want, this is why we're here. This is why we rock up for friendlies when you could be on the beach having four or five days off. This is why you play for your country, to play in these games.

"There are kids out there who are dreaming of playing for Ireland. It could be the last big night for me and I'm going to cherish it and enjoy it as much as I can, even though it's a big game.

"For me to get a second bite at the cherry as it is – it was taken away from me, I was never going to play for my country again and now I'll, please God, get picked tomorrow to play in possibly one of the biggest games that Ireland have played in.

"For me I'm going to cherish it, take it on board. Although it's nerve-wracking and it'll be tight, I'm going to enjoy it as much as I can."

It will be a big night too for central defender Shane Duffy, who will captain the Republic in the absence of the suspended Seamus Coleman.

Duffy said: "It's a huge honour. To even play for your country is a massive milestone in your career and to lead the boys out, hopefully I'll take it in my stride and won't let it affect me.

"I'm excited for it, my family will be proud and I'll be proud as well. But the main objective is to go out there and just play the game and try and get the win."

That is something Ireland have not managed in their five previous encounters with the Danes over a two-year period, although four draws have been overshadowed by the 5-1 thumping in Dublin which cost Duffy and his team-mates a trip to the 2018 World Cup finals.

The Brighton defender said: "Obviously you don't forget about a night like that. It's a low point in our careers for most of us who played on the night, but football moves on quickly and we have another chance.

"It's a different team, a different manager and we are all excited for it and positive that we can get the result."

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Aaron Connolly pictured from Brighton on October 5, 2019
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CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States1011930
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia78520
Great BritainGreat Britain56516
Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events

· Team GB have dominated the men's coxless fours in recent Olympics, winning on each of the last five occasions, but this year they face some stiff competition. They are one of four rowing medal contenders for Great Britain today (2.10am)

· Katie Ledecky and Ariarne Titmus face off again in the women's 200m freestyle final, with the latter having already come out on top in the 400m event (2.41am)
· Team GB's Abbie Wood is among the medal contenders in the women's 200m individual medley final, while teammate Alicia Wilson will also take part. USA's Kate Douglass was the fastest qualifier, while world and Olympic record holder Katinka Hosszu is also involved (3.45am)
· Katie Ledecky could make it two golds in one morning as she goes into the 1500m freestyle final as heavy favourite, having broken the Olympic record in qualifying (3.54am)
· Team GB were by far the fastest qualifiers for the men's 4x200m freestyle relay final and will therefore be favourites for another gold in the pool (4.26am)

· Team GB take on New Zealand in the first men's semi-final, having been beaten by reigning champions Fiji but then come from behind to overcome USA on day two (3am)
· The sevens gold medal match takes place at Tokyo Stadium, with the winner of Great Britain vs. New Zealand taking on either Argentina or Fiji (10am)

· Joe Fraser and James Hall compete for Team GB in the men's all-around final (11.15am-2.10pm)

· Anna Shackley will take part in the women's road time trial (from 3.30am)
· Geraint Thomas and Tao Geoghegan Hart have medal ambitions for Great Britain in the men's road time trial, although both will need to recover from the crash they suffered on Saturday (6am)

· Jack Laugher bids to retain his men's 3m synchro diving title alongside new partner Daniel Goodfellow (7am)

· Charlotte Dujardin will look to add to her already legendary status with a third successive Olympic individual dressage title (9.30am-1.25pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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