Lions winger looking forward to Euro 2016 challenge
At last - it's here! Just 11 days after the domestic season finished Euro 2016 is upon us, with tonight's opening ceremony at the Stade de France at 7pm followed by the tournament's opening game, France against Romania.
Romania qualified as runner-up in their group behind Northern Ireland - for whom Millwall's Shane Ferguson expects to feature when Michael O'Neill's side kick-off their group matches against Poland on Sunday 12th June.
Football supporters in their millions will be tuning in over the next few weeks as some of the best players in the world showcase their talents, and there will be blanket media coverage too.
One newspaper, The Londonderry Sentinel, caught up with Lions winger Shane ahead of Sunday's game and wrote the following:
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 of 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's men's final friendly, would love to don 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 on the day and didn't deserve to win," he added.
"I was straight on the plane to the 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 hopefully make up for past disappointments and I am so excited."
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