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Duffy Joy At Ireland Nod

Defender speaks of his delight at first international call up.

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Shane Duffy says he was 'over the moon' to learn of his first Republic of Ireland call up.

The youngster has been named alongside Everton teammates Seamus Coleman and Darron Gibson in Giovanni Trapattoni's squad for the forthcoming friendly against Czech Republic.

Duffy has previously been involved in a senior Ireland training camp but is yet to make his international debut.  

"I was over the moon to be honest," the 20-year-old told evertontv. "I finished training on Tuesday and got the text saying 'you're in the squad'. It was a dream come true.

"It was weird because the FAI has someone who texts you and says congratulations on your call up and I was thinking, 'is this real?'. But then I got the letter to confirm it and I couldn't believe it."

Duffy only returned to Everton in January following a four-month loan spell at League One Scunthorpe.

But an injury to Sylvain Distin led to a first Premier League outing at White Hart Lane soon after and the centre back has since appeared for the Blues on a further four occasions.

The youngster admits his recent rise has all come as a bit of shock - with this latest news capping a whirlwind start to 2012.

"Since I've come back it's been crazy," he said. "Coming on at White Hart Lane, starting the next game at Villa Park, then just playing - and now this has just taken it up an extra step.

"The loan spell has done me well, given me the confidence to believe in myself and play. When you come back and you're playing with better players every day you just realise that you've got to step it up and hopefully I have.

"Getting a call up for your country, you can't be more proud than that. It's been crazy since the New Year but I'm loving every minute of it."

The Republic of Ireland's meeting with Czech Republic will take place at Dublin's Aviva Stadium on 29 February.

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