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Dublin: 8°C Sunday 11 April 2021
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Maynooth students to represent Ireland in Turkey at Football Tennis world championships after ‘drunken email’

Ireland will be represented by an unlikely gang in Turkey next week.

A CHEEKY, LATE-NIGHT drunken email has resulted in eight Irish students earning a trip to Turkey – and the chance to represent their country.

The NUI Maynooth lads wrote to the organisers of the Football Tennis world championships, FIFTA, after an afternoon playing the game in the college town.

And amazingly, they received an unexpected response.

Steven Conway, an Arts graduate, speaking to the TheScore says he and his friends will travel to Turkey next week as the Irish team, having set up and registered the national federation themselves. He adds:

Basically Jamie – our team captain – sent an email to the organisers.  We saw there was this tournament coming up with free accommodation, free meals and stuff.

We couldn’t believe when we got an invitation back – we still can’t believe it.

The group are training daily at noon and are campaigning for donations as they attempt to finance the trip. Conway, who plays for Sligo club Kilglass/Enniscrone, says he is enjoying the club-versus-country problems:

I had to tell my local soccer club that I’d be unavailable for selection next week as I’d be away on international duty. Who doesn’t want to do that…

And he is expecting a tough few encounters in the tournament – especially as the Irish have never actually played the game properly.

Looking at the clips on YouTube, they’re pretty serious about the whole thing. We’re practicing four and five times a week and we’re just trying to get a handle on the laws.

We had the rule book emailed to us from the president and it must have been the first time they were translated into English because the wording was hilarious. A lack of good quality videos on YouTube and the fact there are videos with the old rules up made it confusing there for a good while.

We’ve gotten our jerseys made by O’Neill’s, the flights are booked, accommodation and food sorted. We badly need some sponsorship to cover the costs but it’s not an ideal time with Christmas coming up and that budget on the horizon really.

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