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‘The Russian Hammer’ Artem Lobov has paid tribute to Ireland’s amputee football team ahead of the European Championships set to kick off this month.

Lobov, who announced his retirement from professional combat sports this summer, recently paid a visit to the team’s training base at the FAI headquarters in Abbotstown where he met with the squad and watched them train ahead of the forthcoming tournament — and writing on Twitter afterwards, Lobov could not have been much more impressed with what he saw.

“Was great to see the lads training!” Lobov wrote on Twitter.

“They put in a lot work and bring so much intensity! They are such an inspirational team made of no quit individuals!! Watching them, lit a fire in my heart and I was shadowboxing in the car on the way home. Wish I watched them before my fights!”

The Irish team are set to fly to Poland in the coming days for what will be the second iteration of the European Amputee Football Federation (EAFF) European Championships, where the Boys In Green will join Belgium, Germany and Russia in Group C.

Hopes are high heading into the tournament after Ireland finished a very respectable sixth in the first tournament back in 2017.