PETER Houston has urged Danny Rogers to relish every minute working under Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane after the Falkirk keeper earned his first full call-up for the Republic of Ireland.
The 22-year-old, currently on a second season-long loan from Aberdeen, was expecting to be part of his country’s under-21 squad for their dead rubber against Serbia in their European Championship qualifiers next Friday.
Instead, he is celebrating being included in the national squad for the first time ahead of their forthcoming World Cup qualifiers against Georgia and Moldova.
Houston insists Rogers can be proud of his achievement, which he believes comes on the back of regular football with the Bairns, and he insists the Dons youngster should use the get-together to spur him on to become an even better player.
The Falkirk manager said: “At 22, to be called into the senior squad is fantastic. It’s great credit to him for the work he’s put in during the last year or so.
“I don’t think he’ll play but to get the experience of seeing how people like Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane work will be a huge learning curve for him.
“He should soak it all up, the experience he’ll get working with the other goalkeepers (Darren Randolph and Keiren Westwood) and seeing how they go about their business in training. That will be of big benefit to him.
“Even watching and listening to what Martin O’Neill and Roy Keane are speaking about during the team talks and team meetings.
“He’s got to make sure he soaks it all up and doesn’t fear it. Go and enjoy it and even if he doesn’t get stripped for the games think himself lucky that he’s got that opportunity.
“It should make him want to work even harder to be a permanent member of that squad. The only way he can do that is by playing well for Falkirk this season, firstly, and then pushing on with Aberdeen next season.”
Rogers first earned international recognition when he received an under-21 call-up whilst farmed out to Dumbarton two seasons ago and has since opted for two loan spells with Falkirk in a bid to improve his first-team experience.
Houston believes the highly-rated goalie, who penned a new two-year deal with Aberdeen in March, can push for a Dons first-team place next term, but has improvements to make to his game first.
Houston added: “I think he improved last season, with playing games, and he has to make sure he maintains that and gets even better, because he has to get even better to get into the Aberdeen team, never mind the Irish national team.
“He’s got to tidy up on a couple of things that me and him have spoken about.
“He needs to improve even further for Derek McInnes to take him next season with a chance of being the number one goalkeeper. A good season here could help him maybe challenge for that.”