Republic of Ireland full-back Stephen Kelly cannot wait for Euro 2012 to start and is hoping to make a real impact.
The 28-year-old featured regularly in Giovanni Trapattoni's team during qualifying and has now won 30 caps for his country.
The Republic begin their campaign against Croatia on Sunday and the Fulham defender is excited that the tournament is finally about to get underway.
"It's been so long since we've qualified and it was a really uplifting experience reaching Euro 2012," Kelly told Fulham's official website.
"To have played in so many of the qualifying games was really exciting and obviously I'm really looking forward to the tournament now.
"I want to make an impact on the tournament and I'm truly excited - it's something I will be delighted to be a part of and I can't wait for the first game against Croatia in Poznan."
It is 10 years since the Republic qualified for a major tournament and Kelly will follow in the footsteps of a number of former Ireland internationals who starred on the big stage.
"As a defender, Paul McGrath was a hero for me when I was growing up - he was an absolute legend," added Kelly.
"The performances he put in when wearing the green shirt were second to none. He always stood out on the pitch.
"Roy Keane was obviously one of the best players to ever have played for Ireland.
"Denis Irwin was another top performer and every week he was at the top of his game. As a full-back myself, he was someone I admired and you look to emulate people like that."