With the domestic season now well and truly over, its time for International football to take centre stage, as over twenty-four days, France will host the fifteenth European Championships.

When looking into connections between the Euro’s and Swindon, I was surprised at how many former Town players have played at the Championships.

The most recent is someone who represented the Republic of Ireland squad at Euro 2012, Simon Cox.

Even though Simon’s time at Swindon only lasted a couple of years, he scored 48 goals in 88 games, its this prolific stint in his young career that got him noticed by Premier League side West Bromwich Albion.

Despite not being a regular starter at the Hawthorns, Cox made his debut for Ireland in May 2011, and has so far earned thirty caps, scoring four goals.

Other Irish players with Town connections is current number one Shay Given, who played five games for Town in the 1995-96 season on loan from Blackburn.

And Tony Galvin, a winger who played a handful of games for Town in the playoff winning side in the 89/90 season, who was in the ROI squad for the 1988 Euro’s.

A more iconic name at Swindon is our former title-winning captain, who played for Scotland at Euro 96, who was an important part of that team who were only a goal away from making the quarter-finals.

Colin Calderwood might have been a Tottenham Hotspur player at the time, but just like Simon Cox it was at Swindon where he made his name.

The only other Scottish player actually never played for Town, but became manager in 2009.

Even though Maurice Malpas had an awful year in charge of Town, his playing career was much more successful.

Malpas earned over 50 caps for Scotland and this included playing in Euro 92, where Scotland like England didn’t make it past the group stage.

At this year’s competition, there are a couple of players who will walk out in France who has also played for Swindon Town, and one of those men will probably be involved for England on Saturday night.

James Milner signed for Town from Leeds on a loan deal in 2003, he made just the six appearances scoring two goals but you could tell even when he was 16 he would turn out to be a top class midfielder.

Along with Milner, the England squad includes another former Town loanee, appearing at his first major tournament.

Goalkeeper Tom Heaton played for Swindon during the clubs disastrous 2005/06 season, when he joined the club on loan from Manchester Utd.

Heaton's form for Utd's reserves resulted in him being loaned out to Town until January 2006.

During his time at Swindon, he played over 20 games, saving a penalty on his debut, and was described as "one for the future" by manager Iffy Onuora.

As Heaton is third choice goalkeeper for Roy Hodgson, it's doubtful he'll see any action, but if he is called up, the country is in safe hands.

Along with two other home nations, Wales makes its long overdue return to tournament football.

Town have one player connection with Chris Coleman's squad, someone who joined the club on loan in January 2009, and made a big impact.

Hal Robson-Kanu joined Swindon on a one-month loan, which, after six games, was extended for a further month. He cemented a regular place in the Swindon team and started in all 20 of his appearances for the club before returning to Reading after three months.

At the conclusion of his spell Swindon boss Danny Wilson hailed Robson-Kanu for his "fantastic impression" which helped the club pull away from relegation.

Along with Malpas, Town have had three other players who have played for their country and have been manager at the County Ground.

Glenn Hoddle, Steve McMahon and Dennis Wise all played parts for England over different tournaments in the 80’s, 90’s and 00’s.

Mike Summerbee, Paul Ince, Neil Webb and Tim Flowers finish off the list of players who have connections with Town and the Euro's.

Enjoy the tournament, and let’s hope England can give us something to cheer after the disaster of the World Cup two years ago.

Follow me on Twitter @danwjonson

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