Preston midfielder Alan Browne is pleased to have an extension to the season as he looks to establish himself in the Republic of Ireland squad.
Browne is training with the Irish squad and getting some sun in Portugal’s Algarve at the moment – PNE team-mates Callum Robinson and Sean Maguire are doing likewise.
While it is two years since he won his first senior cap, Browne has only played three times for his country.
Injuries have tended to get in the way, an example being when torn ankle ligaments kept him out of the first two games of Mick McCarthy’s reign as Ireland boss in March.
There were occasions too when Browne was overlooked by McCarthy’s predecessor Martin O’Neill.
Browne said: “I don’t think that my time at international level has been great so far.
“Obviously we had tough tests and came up short in them.
“Since then I’ve struggled with injuries that have come at the wrong time.
“When the international breaks come, I seem to always get injured.
“I’m happy to be here and happy to have got fit over the last couple of weeks or so – I’m raring to go now.
“When a new manager comes in anywhere, you sort of have to prove yourself again and I’m sure that the boys are well aware of that.
“It was frustrating to miss the last camp because the lads have made their first impressions.
“We have two weeks to put in the work and I’ll be looking to do that and hopefully get myself into the first XI.”
Browne finished Preston’s season as the second highest scorer behind Robinson.
Both netted 12 goals in the league with Robinson having been on target in the Carabao Cup too.
The last two seasons under Alex Neil have seen Browne play in an advanced midfield role – a ‘running 10’ is how the PNE boss describes him.
It is a role which Browne would be happy to play for his country too.
“First and foremost, I just want to get myself into the team and after that, we will go from there,” said Browne.
“If the gaffer wants me to play there, then I am happy to play there.
“It’s the same at my club, where I have played in a lot of different positions.
“I know myself that I can adapt and adapting at international level is another step up again. Hopefully I am ready for that.
“I wouldn’t associate myself with that position, but that’s where I found myself.
“I’m enjoying my football and playing really well.”
Browne and his colleagues return from Portugal later on today ahead and are in action against Denmark next Friday in Copenhagen.