Republic of Ireland manager Martin O’Neill has praised Ronan Curtis following his inclusion in the national senior squad for their games against Northern Ireland and Denmark.
The 22-year-old was in fine form for the U21’s before being promoted for a first-team friendly against Poland in September. However, he was omitted from the final squad for the games against Wales and Denmark in October.
Injuries to senior Irish strikers Jon Walters and Shane Long have paved the way for the St Johnston man to enter the fray for O’Neill and Co.
It is a testament to how impressive the former Derry City player’s start to life has been on England’s South coast, since making the move to Portsmouth in the summer.
Pompey sit top of League One after 17 games, with Curtis having scored six goals in 15 appearances for his new team.
“He’s a really genuine lad,” O’Neill said. “He’s got loads of enthusiasm. I saw him play against Peterborough at club level a couple of months ago and he was excellent. I think he’s got in there on merit.
“Portsmouth are a fine side. They should be looking at promotion this season, but anyway, that’s someone else’s issue.
“They are a big club and I think he’s enjoying it. I also think he’s enjoying himself with us too. So I’m hoping he’s got a decent future ahead of him.”
“I think all those things are important, but just to be training with the likes of Seamus Coleman, it’s a boost for someone so young, so it’s great without the pressure [of playing matches].”