IPSWICH Town keeper Brian Murphy has warned his team-mates in the Ireland senior squad to expect a stiff challenge from the best young players in the domestic league tomorrow.
The Irish senior squad began work in their training camp with a session in Malahide yesterday, and they will crank up a gear tomorrow when the seniors play a training game against Paul Doolin's Ireland U23 side, made up of home-based players in a game played behind closed doors at Malahide.
Murphy, still uncapped at senior level, spent three seasons in the league with Bohemians, so he has an idea of what's in store in the practice game.
"The League of Ireland lads will be very keen to do well against the senior squad tomorrow. It's a great honour to play for your country at any level and I know a game like that, playing for the Irish U23s against the seniors, would have meant a lot to me if I had a chance to play in it," said Murphy.
"There is a lot of young talent in the league now, I've seen the U23 squad and I know how many good players are in it, and it was nice to see a couple of the Bohs lads there as well like Conor Powell and Paddy Madden, so it should be a good game.
"Those players have a chance to impress the senior team manager so they'll be eager to do well," the Waterford man said.
"I'm delighted to be here as being in the Ireland squad is another step for me. I suppose the first big step was getting to Ipswich and I have done OK there but it would really raise my profile back in England if I can win a cap, and hopefully I can play a part.
"I am only new to the squad and I have to earn my place in the team. I don't know what the plans are for the two friendlies but it would be great if I could play a part, I will be disappointed if I don't play but I will respect the manager's decision, I'd love to get a cap."
Former Manchester City man Murphy also hopes to keep in Roy Keane's thoughts for next season, even though the Ipswich boss will react to their poor form last season by bringing in new players.
"The manager has to change things, last season was a big disappointment for everyone, where we finished up wasn't good enough. In the second half of the season our form would have been good enough for the top six, but we didn't start the season well, and we drew a lot of games," said Murphy.
"I'm sure the manager plans to bring in players but hopefully I'll still be in his thoughts and his team for the start of next season."