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Lacey, Hoey and Smith greet Irish success

"It's probably the best day of my life – it's unbelivable," said match winner David Lacey as Eastern Region IRL celebrated winning the UEFA Regions' Cup on home soil.

Eastern Region IRL celebrate with the UEFA Regions' Cup trophy
Eastern Region IRL celebrate with the UEFA Regions' Cup trophy ©Sportsfile

David Lacey, Eastern Region IRL forward
It feels great to score the winning goal, but it doesn't matter who scores it as long as we win. It's about the work rate – everybody working very hard just for the team. That's what we are – the whole 20 players, not just 11.

It means everything. It's probably the best day of my life – it's unbelievable. We've tried for so long to win this trophy – we got the silver medal in 2011, and now we got gold. I've been in two or three of these tournaments before, and each time we played we just got a little bit better – more experience each time. We knew better how to play against these teams. 

Gerry Smith, Eastern Region IRL coach
I am only the second Irish coach to win a UEFA competition? Let's put a bit of history in there – I am the first Irish manager to win the amateur one. It wasn't until 3.15 this morning that Gerry Davis finished doing the DVDs for this game, and we were back at it for 8.30. All week long it's been football, football, more football – I'm really looking forward to a break to be honest. This is great for the association that we've won a EURO trophy.

Eastern Region celebrate at full time
Eastern Region celebrate at full time©Sportsfile

I know their No8 [Božidar Karamatić] was carrying an injury and all I can say is thank God he wasn't on from the start. Sometimes God does a few things for you. It's not on page 73 of the UEFA football manual – it's life. But I'm going to bury that book now, have a few pints and after that see how we go.

Kenneth Hoey, Eastern Region IRL captain
It was a tough game. It took us a while to get going. We got the goal and then we kind of sat back and let them dominate in their own half. We are delighted to get this win – we were the underdogs coming into it. Everyone put us down but we came through for the fans, for ourselves, for the staff, management. Four years ago we had to walk past this trophy, but finally we got our hands on it. A lot of work went into this – we had to lose first to win it.  

Kevin Lynch, Eastern Region IRL defender
I'm delighted. It's an unbelivable feeling. We had to dig it out, but it's all about the results and I'm delighted for us that it came.  It was a tough game – Zagreb are a good side, kept the ball very well. We struggled at times trying to keep the ball, but we got the result and we are happy. 

The captains shake hands
The captains shake hands©Sportsfile

Stipe Nevistić, Zagreb goalkeeper
It's disappointing but we have to say that we had some problems before this game. We were tired after last match against Germany and we had some injuries. But that's not an excuse – they were better, they deserve to win. We missed Karamatić a lot – he came on in the second half, he tried to keep the ball and play, but it was a little bit too late.

Dorian Puretic, Zagreb midfielder
We didn't create many chances – clear chances to score – and they are a good team and kept organised in defence. We didn't have much space in their half of the field. We could play in our half, but in theirs they were very good and organised. We were tired because we had to win our previous match against Germany and they had an advantage because their game against Tuzla didn't mean much. Also, they played at home. 

Eastern Region IRL and Zagreb before kick-off
Eastern Region IRL and Zagreb before kick-off©Sportsfile