Henderson keen to impress

Keeper proud of winning first call-up

Stephen Henderson: Excited about winning his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland squad

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Portsmouth goalkeeper Stephen Henderson is keen to impress after earning his first international call-up ahead of the Republic of Ireland's friendly against Czech Republic.

The 23-year-old has caught the eye this season after making the summer switch to the South Coast club from Bristol City and has replaced injured Sunderland keeper Keiren Westwood in the squad.

Henderson told skysports.com: "It has been an amazing experience to train with the lads today.

"I'm so proud to have been given the chance to show Mr Trapattoni what I can do and I will continue to give everything I have in the hope of getting on that plane to Poland.

"It is everybody's dream to be called up to represent their country and hopefully I will earn more chances to do so again in the future."

Henderson's call-up continues the highly-rated keeper's rapidly growing reputation after being recently linked with a summer Premier League move.

The likes of Newcastle and Ipswich were mooted as potential suitors as a result of Portsmouth's increasing financial problems, but the young Irishman chose to remain at Fratton Park in January despite interest from elsewhere.

Manager Giovanni Trapattoni has hinted that he will use the match to assess the fringe members of his squad, with little over three months until Euro 2012 begins.