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Jon Walters is excited to be part of the Ireland squad with Euro 2012 fast approaching

Jon Walters is excited to be part of the Ireland squad with Euro 2012 fast approaching

Jon Walters is excited to be part of the Ireland squad with Euro 2012 fast approaching

Striker Jon Walters feels "blessed" as he prepares to launch himself into Euro 2012 battle.

The 28-year-old Stoke frontman is one of 20 players within Ireland's 23-man squad who has not kicked a ball in the finals of a major tournament, but that situation for many will be remedied on Sunday evening when they open their Group C campaign against Croatia in Poznan.

Walters, who arrived in Poland with his team-mates during he early hours of Tuesday morning, said: "These are the moments you have got to enjoy."

With manager Giovanni Trapattoni having indicated he is likely to start with skipper Robbie Keane and Kevin Doyle in attack - just as he did in Monday night's friendly draw in Hungary - Walters may have to wait for his opportunity.

However, he knows the chance which lies ahead for him is one some players will never have.

He added: "There are some top players who never get the chance to be in a major tournament, so to be here, I feel very blessed and very privileged.

"It's been a long couple of weeks and everyone wanted to get going and get here.

"You want to come through injury-free, yet you want to play to your full potential in the games and get ready.

"Now we are here, it's going to be building up now to the first game.

"I am sure as each day goes along, it is going to be busier and busier."

PA