Seamus Coleman will add another chapter to a ‘surreal’ few months if he wins his first senior Republic of Ireland cap tomorrow night.
The 22-year-old Everton utility man was already in manager Giovanni Trapattoni's thoughts as he considered using the depth of his squad for the friendly clash with Norway, but injuries mean he has a real chance of starting the game.
That would come as a huge bonus to a man who spent the second half of last season on loan at Blackpool.
Coleman said: ‘It has been a bit surreal. A couple of months ago, I was at Blackpool and then coming into pre-season at Everton, I wasn't expecting to get as many games this season.
‘I am just delighted with how it has gone - and the international thing is a bonus.
‘If there is any chance of it at all, I would be over the moon. I have just got to see how it goes the next couple of days in training.
‘But I would be over the moon to make my debut at some stage in the game.’
Coleman has become a fixture in the Everton side in recent weeks, playing on the right side of midfield rather than in his accustomed full-back role.
It is an illustration of how far his journey in football has taken him in a short time that on Sunday afternoon as he was playing for the Toffees against Arsenal in the Barclays Premier League, Sligo Rovers, the club he left to join them, were contesting the FAI Ford Cup final, which they won on penalties against Shamrock Rovers.
He said: ‘It could have been different, I could have been playing in that game. I am just delighted with the way it has gone for me.’
Coleman's rise has been little short of meteoric, although he knows he still has a lot to learn, particularly about his new midfield role.
But with Mikel Arteta, Tim Cahill, Johnny Heitinga and Steven Pienaar in close attendance, help is close at hand.
Coleman said: ‘They are big names and all experienced players - Heitinga played in the World Cup final.
‘I am learning from them and they have all been great with me. They are obviously not expecting me to know the role off by heart yet, but before every game, they are telling me what position to be in, which is great.
‘When you look at Arteta and Pienaar, they just find space when it's not there. They know what positions to be in and some of Arteta's passing is unbelievable, so you can learn an
awful lot from them.’
Trapattoni, who has lost defenders Richard Dunne, Kevin Kilbane, Paul McShane, Sean St Ledger and Ciaran Clark through injury, has hinted that Coleman could get his chance at right-back.
The player said: ‘Naturally, I am probably still a right-back and if he wants to play me right-back, I will be more than happy; if he wants to play me right-wing, I would be more than
‘Even just to get some time at the end, I would be more than happy.’
Derby midfielder Paul Green also withdrew from the squad yesterday evening with a knee injury, while Trapattoni confirmed goalkeeper Shay Given would captain the team in the absence of Robbie Keane.