Keeper eyeing international spot

New Pompey keeper Stephen Henderson
New Pompey keeper Stephen Henderson
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Stephen Henderson is banking on Steve Cotterill’s influence kick-starting his international career.

The 23-year-old keeper has arrived at Pompey from Bristol City brimming with ambition and aspirations.

Not only does he want to establish himself as Cotterill’s number one, he’s also desperate to force his way into the Republic of Ireland set-up.

Henderson does have international pedigree, having played at every junior level for his country since the age of 14.

The only thing missing from a clean sweep is that prized maiden senior call-up.

It was his outstanding form at Yeovil last season which persuaded Pompey to bring the Dubliner to Fratton Park.

Regular first-team football in League One helped the former Aston Villa stopper flourish.

Now Henderson is hoping he can maintain his development at Pompey under the watchful eye of Cotterill.

And he is also dreaming of dislodging Shay Given as Giovanni Trapattoni’s favoured choice.

Henderson said: ‘I’m hoping this move will open the door for me with the Republic of Ireland, without a doubt.

‘Obviously, Shay’s a great servant and there are a lot of good goalkeepers in the Ireland set-up.

‘But I have to aim high and that’s exactly what I’m going to do here.

‘The gaffer was a massive influence in my move.

‘I heard great things about him and he did a great job last season, considering all the troubles the team went through.

‘He’s a great manager. I’m just delighted to play under him.’

The last of Henderson’s eight under-21 caps came in 2010.