Jon Gallagher hopes extending his Aberdeen loan can put him on the radar of the Ireland national team.
Gallagher has committed to remaining with the Dons until the end of the season from Atlanta United and has aspirations of fulfilling his international ambitions.
The Irish national team, like Scotland, have Euro 2020 play-offs in March, with Slovakia the first up on March 26. The winner of that tie would then face either Bosnia and Herzegovina or Northern Ireland in the final on March 31 for a place in the tournament.
He was called up to an under-21 squad in 2017 but broke his ankle, so has yet to represent his country at international level. There is a belief, however, that his move to Aberdeen could put him in the frame.
Gallagher said: “I keep a close eye on them (Ireland). I knew that coming over here that was potentially a thing that could happen and I would like to think it is.
“I was involved with the under-21s; I got called up but then broke my ankle. Hopefully I’m at least on their radar.
“It’d be a dream for any boy – I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t. But it’s not at the top of my list. I’m just focused on myself and trying to break into the starting 11 here.”
The Dons loanee has contributed one goal in 27 appearances since joining in the summer, scoring in the 2-2 draw against Rangers. He felt he had to see out the season with Aberdeen, rather than returning to his parent club early.
He added: “I was in the dark for quite a while about what was going to happen. I had conversations with both sides and my agent as well. Personally I wanted to see out the rest of the season as I’ve made such big steps in my personal development.
“I felt like I could keep improving and I didn’t want to cut that short. Atlanta were happy for me to continue and there’s the partnership between the two clubs now. The gaffer wanted me to stay so I was happy to.
Aberdeen are coming to the end of their training camp in Dubai, ahead of their return to competitive action in the Scottish Cup against Dumbarton on Saturday. It is the third year in a row they have come out to the Emirati state to prepare for the second half of the season.
Gallagher said: “I felt like the first few matches against the Old Firm, even the first half of the Rangers match, we were a bit timid. The second half you saw a completely different team.
“We’ve just got to believe in ourselves a bit more. I’ve enjoyed the pressure of matches – in the US there’s no relegation or promotion. Going into every game knowing you need a result, I’ve enjoyed it.”