NAOMI Conlon, 7, from Moneygall is looking forward to the trip of a lifetime having been chosen as one of the two winners of the McDonald’s Player Escort Programme for this summer’s European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.
Naomi, who is in first class in Gaelscoil tSlí Dála in Ballaghmore, will lead Ireland out ahead of their opening fixture in Group C against Croatia on Sunday, June 10, in Poznan.
She will be joined on the trip by her dad, Sean, as they travel east to cheer on Giovanni Trappatoni’s squad as Ireland makes its first appearance at a European Championships since 1988.
Naomi, along with Scott Lloyd from Midleton, will be one of 682 player escorts from 34 European countries leading the stars of European football into the various stadiums throughout the month-long extravaganza. She will enjoy two nights accommodation along with her dad, with flights, meals, match day tickets, transport and sightseeing in Poland included. In addition, she will also receive an official Player Escort souvenir pack and an official escort uniform.
Speaking of her surprise and delight at winning the prize, Naomi said: “I am really excited to be going to Euro 2012 this summer thanks to McDonald’s. I love football and play every day after school with my friends. Now I have the chance to go the European Championships and cheer on my favourite players like Robbie Keane and Damien Duff. To walk on the pitch with the players at the start of the match against Croatia will be amazing!”
Ruth Kenneally, marketing executive at McDonald’s Ireland said: “The entire nation will be glued to their TVs as we take on Croatia, Spain and Italy in the group stage. Our Player Escort Programme is a great way of inspiring more young people to participate in the game. I’m sure that Naomi’s trip to Poland for Ireland’s opening Euro 2012 match will be one she’ll never forget.”