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Wednesday 7 December 2016

Harry Arter keen to be no flash in pan when it comes to Republic of Ireland career

Harry Arter
Harry Arter

PAUL McGrath and Andy Townsend are two players who made their Ireland senior debuts at the age of 25 and didn't fare too badly after that.

So Ireland's latest mid-twenties debutant, Harry Arter, hopes that his display off the bench in the 0-0 draw against his native England can be the start of something good and not another false dawn.

The Bournemouth man came on as a second-half sub for Glenn Whelan and while the Cherries man is unlikely to dislodge players like Whelan and James McCarthy from the Ireland side in the short-term, this was a good learning curve for the player who has played in every division in England - bar the top flight.

But he had a taste of what's to come with Bournemouth next season as he took on an England side made up of Premier League regulars.

And Arter says he's up for the task against Scotland next week, if needed.

"I feel fresh and ready for Scotland, with so much at stake on Saturday, that would get anyone up for any game, and if I was to play, the adrenaline and the will to win would outlay any sort of muscle tiredness," said Arter after his debut.

"I'm a confident player and at international level I can't afford to let my feelings get in the way, I have to try and treat every game the same. That's what I felt like I tried to do yesterday.

"If I'm selected again, that's the way I'll try to approach it again," added Arter, back in the green jersey for the first time since his last youth cap, in 2008 (when he was sent off, against Portugal).

"To make your debut at any time is going to be a happy moment but to do it against England in a good game makes it more pleasing.

"I didn't really think too much of it, I just felt 'I've got to go into the game now', try and get the fact it's my debut out of my mind and treat it like any other game.

pride

"I'm sure in weeks or months to come I'll look back on it with a lot more pride, but at the moment I just want to try and do well.

"And I thought we played really well. Ultimately, next week is more important, but a few of the lads hadn't played for a while and were up against really good opposition.

"I think if we can take this performance into next week, we'll have a really good chance," he added.

Arter was one of the players whose fitness needed managing as, before yesterday's meeting with England, his last taste of action was more than four weeks ago.

"When the season ended with the club, it was a matter of getting ready for this, really. I knew I might have a chance of a call-up," added Arter, a big part of the Cherries squad who won promotion from the Championship.

"I hadn't thought too much about next season and the teams we will be playing against, this trip gave me something to focus on, so I was ready.

"And it was good to test myself. From afar, you realise how good these Premier League players are, it was good to come up against them and test yourself, see what you are in for next year."

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