St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Chris Forrester keen to prove himself at international level

The Saints midfielder is the only domestic-based player in Noel King's under-21 squad and he is keen to make his presence felt
St Patrick's Athletic midfielder Chris Forrester believes that playing at international level will be a boost to his career as a footballer.

The 20-year-old made his debut for Noel King's Republic of Ireland under-21 side as a second-half substitute in the 3-0 victory against the Netherlands at Tallaght Stadium in February and he is hopeful that he can continue to prove himself at that level when the team takes on Portugal this Monday evening.

"It was a fantastic feeling to make my debut against [the Netherlands] last month, especially as it was in front of my family and friends," he said.

"The second thing is that it will obviously be good for my career to play at this level. I want to play at the highest level I can and proving myself with the under-21s team can only be good for that.

Forrester, who was crowned the PFAI Young Player of the Year in 2012, revealed that he is getting to know the squad better and also believes that the standard of football at under-21 level and in the Airtricity Premier Division is similar.

He said: "I don't believe there is much difference between the Premier Division of the Airtricity League and under-21 level. There are good players in both, but it is a different style of play and I have to prove myself at that level.

"People say to me that they think it takes me a while to settle into a group and they are probably right. I'm getting to know the squad in the under-21s a lot better now and I feel that I can start to show what I can do."

Noel King's squad have been drawn in a group with Germany, Romania and Montenegro, as well as the Faroe Islands and the Saints midfielder said that they are 'determined' to qualify for the 2015 Uefa under-21 Championships in the Czech Republic, as well as the Olympic games in 2016.

"For the group, we are all determined to get out of our group and qualify for the Uefa Championships and ultimately the Olympic Games in Brazil 2016, so we have an awful lot to play for," added Forrester.

The Republic of Ireland under-21s will take on Portugal at Oriel Park on Monday, March 25.