Seamus Coleman has challenged the latest generation of republics of the Republic of Ireland to raise the baton of their famous predecessors, as they are once again trying to re-emerge.
With the likes of Shay Down, Richard Dan, John O'Shea, Damian Duff and Robbie Keane had time in the green shirt, the Irish team entered a transitional period in which the high qualifications for Euro 2012 and 2016 and nearby misses for the final the World Cup 2010 and 2018 have become distant memories.
However, as she evaluated the calendar year of the matches that saw Martin O'Neill's men only once in nine attempts after continuing 0-0 in the Champions League in Denmark, Captain Coleman called on his teammates to stop and be counted.
He said: "There is no secret to it, there is no way of dressing, it was a disappointing year, no doubt about it. It's a learning curve for me and for some other guys who have 40 or 50 caps.
"We do not have Richard Dans, Robbie Kins and Damian Dafs to carry us anymore. Now we need to take this stick and maybe some of us have not done it strongly enough.
"The new coming guys will learn a lot this year, which in a way is some sort of positive result of a negative year." In a mental age, we can be much stronger to go to the games in March, so we need to consider it. "
Troubles in Ireland were brought about in sharp focus because of their inability to find the back of the network with the deadlock in Aarhus, continuing their free advances to 397 minutes of football without a goal, because Eiden O'Brien scored in Poland in September.
O'Neal correctly points to the staff reconstruction and the difficulty of the list of bodies with which his players were presented in the mitigation but noted lack of ambition – the Republic failed to make any effort against the target against the Danes – attracted criticism to the extent to which his side was pissed off the pitch after a 0-0 friendly draw with Northern Ireland last Thursday night.
Coleman said: "It's hard to enjoy it all the time when you're under pressure, but you have to remember what you wanted to play football, which was supposed to represent your country.
"You have to take the good with the bad. It was a difficult year, we can learn a lot from him and I think we can improve."
They will need to improve significantly if they have the chance to progress when the qualifications for Euro 2020 qualify in March next year, with defiant O & M Nile, who has what it takes to lead them to the final.
Coleman, who was part of the page that reached the last 16 in France two years ago, is also convinced that there will be better times.
He said, "We are capable of big nights and we can not forget that. We need to step up a little more." He came in March, I have no doubt that we will be ready. I know we should say that, but I really believe that we will be ready. "