Reading defender Alex Pearce is hoping his Championship Player of the Month prize will boost his chances of winning a call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad.
Pearce was rewarded for his fine form in December by scooping the Player of the Month award ahead of Barnsley's Ricardo Vaz Te, Middlesbrough midfielder Nicky Bailey and Burnley's Kieran Trippier.
The 22-year-old has established himself as one of the best young central defenders outside the Premier League and is thought to be on Giovanni Trapattoni's radar with the Republic of Ireland coach watching him on several occasions this season.
Pearce was delighted to scoop the Player of the Month award and hopes it will enhance his claims to win a call-up to Trapattoni's next squad.
"It is always nice to get recognition like that in winning the award and it is a sign the team are doing well," Pearce told skysports.com.
"We have been doing well recently, keeping clean sheets and I have also chipped in with a few goals which may have swayed the vote in my direction.
"It would be a dream come true for me to play for Ireland at any stage in the future and hopefully things like this award can only help me.
"I think every player wants to play international football and play at the highest level and I am no different.
"I know Mr Trapattoni has come to a few games in the past and hopefully I can get in there and show what I can do and prove myself.
"I believe Mr Trapattoni and his coaching team are aware of me and I will just keep doing what I am doing for Reading and hopefully something will happen with Ireland and they will take a chance on me."