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Forrester looking to learn the ropes

Chris Forrester will head into the Ireland Under-21s' friendly clash with Portugal relishing the chance to continue his international education.

The St Patrick's Athletic midfielder is the only home-based player in Noel King's squad, and having made his debut in last month's 3-0 friendly victory over Holland, is hungry for more.

"It was a fantastic feeling to make my debut against Holland last month, especially as it was in front of my family and friends," Forrester said.

"The second thing is that it will obviously be good for my career to play at this level.

"I want to play at the highest level I can and proving myself with the Under-21s team can only be good for that.

"I don't believe there is much difference between the Premier Division of the Airtricity League and Under-21 level.

"There are good players in both, but it is a different style of play and I have to prove myself at that level."

Ireland will head into the game with the confidence gained from victories over Italy in their final in their final European Championships qualifier in September and the Dutch last time out.

They will embark upon the new qualifying campaign in August against the Faroe Islands with Germany, Romania and Montenegro also waiting in the wings.

Monday's game is being played on an artificial pitch at Dundalk's Oriel Park home after wintry weather in Dublin left the surface at the original venue, Tallaght Stadium, unplayable.


From Belfast Telegraph