Chadwell Chatter

Darren Randolph is looking forward to pulling on his national-team jersey again as the Boys in Green prepare for Euro 2016
Hello everyone,

I’m back to Dublin, back home in the Republic of Ireland, and we’ve got two games to look forward to against Switzerland and Slovakia, so hopefully I’ll get a chance to play in what is a mini warm-up for the Euros.

We’re feeling really optimistic, especially with the way we finished the qualifying campaign by beating Germany and the way we qualified by overcoming Bosnia and Herzegovina in a two-legged Play-Off, so it’s good to go away with the squad.

Obviously there will be pressure in the games, but we know we’ve qualified and we know we’re on the plane and going to France, so it’ll be good to see everyone and continue with some of the good work we’ve put in over the last few months.

I was listening to some of the boys booking flights for a short holiday to somewhere hot while I’m back to sunny Dublin! No, seriously, it’ll be good to get some game-time, so I don’t mind as long as we win and play well.

It’s good to see so many of the boys going away on international duty, and it’s a compliment to all the good work we’ve put in at the Club this year. Everyone is being rewarded by their countries and that’s definitely a good sign for the Club.

After the break, I’ll be back at Chadwell Heath to prepare for a busy few weeks ahead in the Barclays Premier League and the Emirates FA Cup.

If the manager keeps to what he has done in the previous rounds, then hopefully I’ll start the sixth-round replay against Manchester United – the final FA Cup tie at the Boleyn Ground.

The first game was disappointing not to win, particularly as I felt I was blocked off for their equaliser at Old Trafford.

Hopefully I won’t be that busy in the replay, because as long as we win and get through, I don’t mind how the game goes!

I’ll get these couple of international games out of the way first, then switch back onto that when I come back.

The international break means I’ll miss Mark Noble’s Testimonial on Monday, which is a shame.

I first played against Mark when I was at Charlton in the Academy, and Mark was just starting off at West Ham.

That was probably about 12 years ago now. I had a rough idea of what he was like before I arrived at the Club in the summer, about what kind of character he is, but when I came into the building I’ve seen how he is around the place and what he’s like on the training pitch, and I took to him even more.

On the pitch, he’s definitely a leader. His work ethic is superb. I didn’t realise the amount of ground he covers until I read the stats on a Monday or Tuesday. He doesn’t really give the ball away either, in games or in training. He’s got everything.

There are a lot of stories and things that I could probably say about Mark…but I won’t! It’s best to keep some of those quiet, but suffice to say that off the pitch he’s a big voice in the changing room.

Monday is a well-deserved day for Mark.
Enjoy your long weekends, and don’t forget to tune in and watch Ireland’s matches and the Testimonial on TV!