North End forward Callum Robinson spoke of his pride of making his first start for Republic of Ireland after declaring for the nation earlier this year.
Robinson got his first cap against Wales in the UEFA Nations League opener on Thursday evening after receiving his international clearance last month, and he was delighted to be called upon to start the game by manager Martin O'Neill.
Reflecting on his debut when speaking to PNE.Com, Callum said: "I'm really happy and grateful to be given the opportunity to be involved, let alone start the game, it was obviously a proud moment for me and my family. It was a disappointing result but I'm really happy.
"It's special for me but especially for my mum because my grandma was Irish and she passed away when my mum was young so I know it meant a lot to my mum and she will be looking down on me, and she would be happy and proud and so it was a really good moment for all of my family but especially my mum.
"I only found out I was playing when I got to the ground, the gaffer Martin O'Neill just read out the names and I was in it. I had butterflies in my belly and it was a good moment and I just couldn't wait to get out on the pitch."
"I would have been happy to just be involved but then to start in the first game, and it wasn't just a friendly either it was an important game, it just shows the faith the manager has got in me and that's what I have been training and working hard for so I'm really grateful to be given a start like that.
"I played in the testimonial game but this was different, it felt proper and it was different going in to as well in terms of the preparations."
On his own performance in the game, the 23-year-old continued: "When I got the ball I was trying to be as creative as possible, we didn't really have a lot of the ball so it was hard to show everything that I have got but I think throughout the game with everything that I did, I probably should have scored, but other than that I think my game wasn't too bad for my debut."
The forward has been surrounded by Premier League quality players both in training and during the match in Cardiff, and he feels the experience of learning from those players can only be beneficial to both him and PNE.
"To play against the likes of Gareth Bale and Aaron Ramsey, they had a good team and obviously you want to test yourself against top players, but I'm also playing with some real top players as well. It's always good to test yourself against the very best players and so it was good to be able to do that.
"It has really good, training has been really sharp, there are some really good players here who are Premier League standard and it's only going to improve me personally and individually on the pitch so it's been really good.
"I have had a good start to the season with PNE but coming here you see things through different eyes as well so you learn more and playing with top players is always going to improve you.
"We have some quality players at the club as well and then coming here and training and playing with these players can only be a good thing for both me and the club in terms of developing."
Next up for the Boys in Green is a trip to take on Poland on Tuesday night in an international friendly, a game Robinson is looking forward to after his first taste of action for Ireland.
"I'm really looking forward to Tuesday now and it's about getting my rest in and training as well, getting ready for Poland. It will be a different kind of test for us, we are away again so it's going to be a different environment but I'm really looking forward to that game."