This Friday will mark the four-year anniversary of Northern Ireland's debut at the European Championship finals in France and I still can't believe how hard we had to work to lose 1-0 to Poland.
It was exhausting in the soaring heat and it still leaves me angry and frustrated to this day that we were tentative on such a huge stage.
We allowed Poland to pummel us, we hardly had any possession and there wasn't a moment in the game where we looked dangerous.
Everything was correct in terms of preparation. We couldn't have been in a better place mentally and physically. Finally we felt like we were being treated like a proper professional football team.
For years we'd had gripes about our travel and accommodation not being up to a suitable standard. Suddenly it was on a different level.
Craig Stanfield, who sadly passed away earlier this year, along with David Currie and numerous IFA team members, had planned it to perfection.
As soon as we arrived in France, we were basically surrounded by the gendarmes, who watched our every move, and our hotel in the French countryside was incredible.
The Irish FA had thought of everything, from pictures of our families in rooms, plenty to do in the games rooms, amazing restaurants on site to making sure the training facilities were of the highest standard.
We were suddenly transported to a wonderful Euro 2016 bubble.
We were a team full of confidence, having been on a great unbeaten run. We'd come through a tough physical examination in our last friendly before the tournament in Slovakia and training was all about fine-tuning as we knew what Michael O'Neill expected of us and felt ready to perform.
But we didn't. We never reached the heights of our performances during the qualifiers and that stung.
Michael and his backroom staff gave all of us the insight we needed on Poland and we had trained well, but I don't think we looked comfortable in the 3-5-2 formation. As players, we would much have preferred 4-5-1, however we understood why Michael wanted to play it for tactical reasons.
We had hardly any possession, were constantly on the back foot and I felt as though I was constantly defending.
We really did have to defend well to come away with just a 1-0 defeat.
In the days leading up to the game, there was a great deal of media fuss after big Kyle Lafferty went down in training and it appeared he'd injured his groin.
We knew within minutes it wasn't serious and there was nothing wrong. It was a hot day and I think Kyle just wanted a breather. He had an ice bath, felt fine and it was funny to see all the attention given to a supposed injury.
Of course, nobody in our camp was going to put it out that Kyle was fine. I think it was felt if news drifted over to the Polish team that our leading goalscorer was a serious injury doubt, that did us no harm at all.
However, any disappointment of the result and performance paled into insignificance when news drifted through to the team hotel early next morning that one of our fans had tragically died after an accident in Nice.
Suddenly the Euro 2016 bubble which all the players had been surrounded by evaporated and reality kicked in.
I was left numb and totally heartbroken for Darren Rodgers' family and friends. He was one of us and he wasn't going home - that was so wrong.
Darren had come out to watch us play, cheer us on and enjoy himself before a shocking fall took him away.
As players, all we could try and do was honour Darren's memory by making amends in our next game against Ukraine.
I'm fully aware nothing will erode the hurt and devastation felt by Darren's family and friends, but I hope we brought them some comfort in knowing Darren was very much in our thoughts as we took to the pitch and gave a performance and produced a result that would have made him proud.
When I first spotted Rangers’ new signing Charlie Lindsay, he stood out like a sore thumb.
At just 14 years of age, he looked a special talent, head and shoulders above his peers.
Two years ago, I along with Josh Magennis and Aaron Hughes were doing our coaching badges and some young lads from Club NI were chosen to help us with our practical assessments.
Charlie left us all mightily impressed with his movement, awareness, physical ability and just the way he carried himself. We were left asking his coaches, ‘Who is that kid?’.
It didn’t surprise me when he became Glentoran’s youngest ever player and when I heard Rangers had signed him, beating off advances from other clubs, I felt it was quite a coup for the Ibrox side.
Having been at Rangers, I know how much hard work they put into developing their young talents, with Graeme Murty and Peter Lovenkrands coaching the academy sides.
The senior coaching team also pay close attention to their development and I’m convinced Charlie can only excel at Rangers.
I feel he has the potential to be a top player, an exciting midfielder and that can only be good news for Northern Ireland football.