Last Updated: Wed, 05 Jun 2013 08:31
Jeff Hendrick is still coming to terms with rubbing shoulders with the Republic of Ireland's biggest stars.
The 21-year-old Derby midfielder has established himself firmly in Giovanni Trapattoni's squad just a few months after his elevation from the Under-21s, and could be handed a World Cup qualifier debut against the Faroe Islands on Friday night.
However, he is yet to fully comprehend just how he has gone from watching skipper Robbie Keane and his team-mates on television to playing in the same team.
Hendrick said: "For the 2002 World Cup, I was only nine or 10 and I had my face painted watching him [Keane] scoring goals, and now to be involved in the squad with him is great.
"I was watching in the pub - I wasn't drinking, though!
"Last October, I was with the Under-21s and I was watching them all playing games, and then when I was brought into the squad, it was unreal.
"It's great. As a kid, it's what you dream of, just being involved."
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