Seamus Coleman and Martin O'Neill both hailed the performance of Declan Rice against Turkey after the youngster claimed the man of the match award on his Republic of Ireland debut.
The 19-year-old West Ham star looked assured both in defence and in midfield despite his side going down 1-0 in the friendly encounter in Antalya.
"We’re disappointed to have lost but I thought Declan was brilliant," said captain Coleman, himself making a first international appearance since breaking a leg against Wales last year.
"He wasn’t just brilliant today, he’s been brilliant all week in training.
"He’s a great lad, desperate to do well and a few of us could have taken a leaf out of his book today."
Manager O'Neill concurred: "He's played left-sided centre-half for West Ham, his club, and at this minute I think he's getting accustomed to a number of positions.
"I had no hesitation in putting him into the middle of the field. It was a man-of-the-match performance and I thought he was excellent for us.
"Considering it's his debut and he's 19 years of age, it was an impressive performance from an impressive young man."
"You always dream of having a good start," the man of the hour told RTÉ Sport.
"Only being 19 years old, and it being my debut in a great venue against a great team, to get man of the match is the icing on the cake.
"The result was disappointing but on a personal level, I was happy to go out there and prove a point."
"I think there is something in me," he added. "I'm composed and I'm a calm player. You're only out there for 90 minutes and you have to give it everything you've got. It's a game of football at the end of the day.
"I've had good experiences with West Ham this year and I've tried to take that onto international level tonight.
"I thought I did well for only being 19 years old on the international scene. I was proud of myself and thought I performed well."
Wasn't the result we wanted tonight.. but on a personal level delighted to have picked up man of the match on my debut????. Very proud moment for me & my family. Big love to my dad who came all the way out to come and watch, love you??? #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/Ic8S9epKBi— Declan Rice (@_DeclanRice) March 23, 2018
Rice was born in England but has played for Ireland since U-16 level - both his paternal grandparents hail from Cork.
Until he plays a senior competitive game in a green shirt he could still potentially switch eligibility to the land of his birth - a la Jack Grealish - but O'Neill is confident that situation won't arise.
"Until someone is over the line you don’t want to be calling it in. But he loves playing for us," he said.
"His father was there tonight too, so that’s good news.
"With that sort of a performance we’d obviously want him."