Ronan Curtis: Pompey can help me realise international dream
Ronan Curtis believes moving to Pompey will bolster his prospects of becoming a senior Republic of Ireland international.
The forward reckons League One football can provide him with a gateway to Martin O’Neill’s squad.
Kenny Jackett’s first signing of the summer finalised his switch to Fratton Park on Saturday following the opening of the international transfer window.
Curtis put pen to paper on a two-year deal. He joins the Blues from Derry City for an undisclosed fee in excess of £100,000.
The south London-born ace was one of boss Kenny Shiels’ chief attacking threats at the Brandywell.
His impressive performances caught the attention of Noel King, who handed Curtis five Republic of Ireland under-21 caps.
The 22-year-old now has ambitions of winning senior honours.
And he feels playing at Pompey will give him the platform to achieve his goal.
Curtis said: ‘That’s my ambition – to keep going, play as many games as I can for Portsmouth and then, hopefully, the Republic of Ireland team comes in and I’ll play for my country.
‘That is my aim. It’s every footballer’s dream to play for their country.
‘I’ve been taken out of the League of Ireland to play for the Republic of Ireland under-21 team and that was a huge thing for me.
‘It was really good and there are quite a few under-21s who have gone to train with the senior team – like Declan Rice at West Ham.
‘He’s a good mate of mine and made his senior debut against Turkey in March.
‘He took his chance and did well.
‘Kieran O’Hara, who plays for Manchester United under-23s, has also trained with the senior team.
‘There were talks and I’ll bide my time and hopefully that day will come.
‘If I’m playing week in, week out, doing well, setting up goals and scoring goals then of course they will (call me up) one day.’
Curtis steps into League One football from the League of Ireland.
The 22-year-old regards the Football League’s third tier as a better standard to what he’s been playing in.
But he is relishing the challenge and is confident he will make the grade.
Curtis added: ‘It is a big step but I think I’m ready for the step-up.
‘I’m 22 years of age and it was my dream to forward my career and get over to England and be the best I can be.
‘I would say League One is quicker. In Ireland you do get pressed a lot but over here the tempo is faster and teams move the ball quicker.
‘Teams do let you have the ball, too. It’s different to the League of Ireland.
‘I’ve been there for five years and know the ins and outs of it.
‘I am now really looking forward to playing in England and although it is a step-up, I think I’m ready for it.’