Hull City winger Robbie Brady has revealed his delight at Jeff Hendrick's inclusion in Giovanni Trapattoni's Ireland squad for the friendly international against Poland on February 6.
The 21-year-old explained that Derby County midfielder Hendrick was 'one of [his] best mates growing up' and that it was 'surreal' that they had graduated through the international ranks together.
"I just had a chat with [Hendrick] earlier on saying how surreal it was the two of us sitting in the same room," Brady told reporters. "I think I was around five years old when I played with him first. He's been one of my best mates growing up through football, and we've come every step of the way together."
"Jeff had a big name since he was a kid and it's good that he's living up to it now," he added. "He's just an all-round good midfield player. Even growing up you could see he was always one of the better ones around.
"We went on trial together to UK clubs as kids, Norwich City and West Bromwich were just two of them, and we've some funny memories of those trips.
"He obviously enjoyed Derby and felt it was the right move for him, while I joined Manchester United."
Meanwhile, Brady is hoping to use Wednesday's friendly against Poland to cement a starting place in Trapattoni's team ahead the World Cup qualifiers in March.
He said: "I'm looking forward to the game on Wednesday, to getting some minutes on the pitch and hopefully showing what I can do. That's the plan.
"We'll use this game as preparation but I'll have to use it as a stepping stone to getting a place in the starting 11 in the qualifiers."