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David Hoban and Ireland into Regions Cup final in Turkey


HOT IN THE OFFICE Ireland's David Hoban attempts to cool down in the 37 degree heat, following his side's second group match, against Spain, in the UEFA Region's Cup in Istanbul last Monday.

Neill O’Neill

THE Republic of Ireland have reached the final of the UEFA Regions Cup  in Turkey, after an emphatic 4-1 victory in their last group game against a Czech Republic side this afternoon (Thursday).
Westport United striker David Hoban is part of the Connacht-Munster side currently on duty in Turkey, and they remain unbeaten heading into Sunday’s final in Istanbul, which will likely be against Croatian side Zagreb, who are top of their group and lead Ingulec of Ukraine 2-0 in their final group game at the time of writing.
Hoban picked up an injury in Monday’s match against Spainish side Castilla y Leon, and saw no game time in today’s match against Czech team Olomouc. Having started the two previous group encounters however, he is confident of being fit to return to action on Sunday.
“I picked up a light groin strain in the Spanish game, so they did a fitness test on me beforehand and it was 60 to 40 in favour of playing today, and then the medical staff said to hold off. Then, with the way the scores were going, I didn’t come on. I will be assessed for the next three days to try and get it right, but I’m 90 per cent sure I will be fit to play on Sunday,” he told The Mayo News from his sun longer at a Turkish poolside.
Hoban added that his side had a lot to do today, but were expecting a the Spanish side to prevail in their final group game against Russia, which would have given them top spot in the group ahead of the Irish representatives. He also revealed that there will be a special guest in attendance at the final.
“John Delaney [FAI Chief Executive] is flying out for the final. He was due to present the trophy and it is now a coincidence that we are in the final. I can’t believe that the Russians [South Region] beat the Spaniards, but it just goes to show that anything can happen, and so we are heading to the final on Sunday and anything can happen there also,” said the 34-year-old Hoban.
“I’m delighted the Russians did us a favour. The two games were on simultaneously and we had a man at that match who was calling through with the scores. Our game went from trying to score as many goals as we could [to make up the Spaniards’ superior goal difference] to defending like hell, and we got there in the end and are all looking forward to the final on Sunday.”

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