PORTSMOUTH manager, Kenny Jackett believes Ronan Curtis' experience with Derry City during the 2018 League of Ireland season is behind his remarkable start to life in League One.
The ex-Candy Stripe starts on the bench in his first senior international involvement for Martin O'Neill's side against Poland in Wroclaw.
It was his remarkable early season club form, having scored five times in six league appearances, coupled with the withdrawal of Jonathan Walters from the squad, which saw him elevated into the senior ranks for tonight's friendly as a late replacement for the Ipswich striker.
However, Jackett, who is a huge fan of the St Johnston man's 'spiky' and 'competitive' nature, has credited his preparation with Derry City for his encouraging start to his career with Pompey.
Curtis had netted eight times during an impressive start to the Airtricity Premier Division campaign before earning a move to Fratton Park in June. And Jackett believes his fitness levels and confidence has given Curtis a head start during the early days of his Blues career.
"I have been pleased with Ronan, he has a lot of ability," said the Pompey boss. "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.
"There have been goals and assists already – it looks like he’ll be an asset for us.
"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."