Portsmouth boss: Curtis thriving after Irish head start

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Kenny Jackett credits Ronan Curtis’ Irish preparation for his remarkable instant impact.

The forward is in the frame for a Republic of Ireland debut against Poland tonight as his whirlwind progress continues.

Ronan Curtis has been flying for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Ronan Curtis has been flying for Pompey. Picture: Joe Pepler

Curtis departed Derry City mid-season for Fratton Park in June.

With the SSE Airtricity League campaign starting in February, the 22-year-old had scored eight goals and been a first-team regular by the time of his Pompey switch.

It’s that match fitness Jackett believes has given Curtis a head start during the early days of his Blues career.

And Pompey are reaping the rewards.

Jackett said: ‘I have been pleased with Ronan, he has a lot of ability.

‘He’d had two weeks off by the time of our pre-season, that’s all, and it looked like he had been playing football when maybe the others hadn’t.

‘Whether that gave him an advantage or not I don’t know. Hopefully it doesn’t project late on where he burns out.

‘But he started the season very confidently from day one and was a reflection of the fact he had been playing summer football in Ireland, hopefully giving him the confidence to hit the ground running.

‘In his first league match against Luton, he played through the middle and provided a goal for Jamal with a really good cut back.

‘He has since settled down on the left of that front three and started the season really well.

‘At the moment I see him on the left, but I do think he has the flexibility at the right time to give us pace down the middle.

‘We’ll see how the season develops, he has made a very good start to his career here, right the way from pre-season.

‘There have been goals and assists already – it looks like he’ll be an asset for us.’

Pompey’s last international player at senior level was Mustapha Dumbuya.

The right-back appeared for Sierra Leone in October 2012 during a brief Fratton Park stay.

While, in terms of UK and Republic of Ireland national sides, Curtis would be Pompey’s first since Liam Lawrence in May 2011.

Jackett added: ‘Ronan is confident, he is spiky, he’s competitive and he wants to win.

‘He brings a lot of personality, but good players should, they should have a lot of personality.

‘If you’ve got a good squad then they can project their personality.’