Gary Doherty is happy with the decision to base his international selection on playing in the central defensive position.
The Republic of Ireland have used Doc largely in the centre-forward role he occasional used to fill for Spurs in the past as, with the retirement of Niall Quinn, they were short of options in attack. Now, with Clinton Morrison seemingly cementing a place alongside Robbie Keane, Doc is prepared to take his chances on defensive selection.
"It is what I've always wanted," reflected the 23-year-old. "I don't think people realise how hard it is to go from centre-half to centre forward and this has probably been my biggest season in one position.
"Since the turn of the year I've been playing at the back regularly and training there. I've had the continuity that I've never had before because of playing all over the place.
"It is something I've enjoyed and I've really got to learn as a defender because it is a tricky position to get to grips with. I want to play there for as long as I can for both club and country."
Manager Brian Kerr is not short of central defenders and Gary is prepared for the competition, hoping his club form will stand him in good stead.
"I think so and that is probably why I was used more up front. I think John O'Shea plays more at left back now, but there is Andy O'Brien, Richard Dunne, Gary Breen - there is a lot of competition.
"You've just got to try and do well for your club and hopefully the international thing will look after itself."