TIM Krul says he reported for international duty with his head held high after playing his part in Newcastle United’s remarkable start to the season.
The goalkeeper is determined to make progress for his country as well as his club this season.
Krul was on the bench for Friday night’s goalless draw against Switzerland in Amsterdam, when AS Roma’s Maarten Stekelenburg started in goal for Bert van Marwijk’s Netherlands side.
The 23-year-old – who is also competing with Swansea City’s Martin Vorm for a place between the posts – will again be involved tonight when his country takes on neighbours Germany in Hamburg.
The fixture is one of the fiercest in international football, and Krul – who has been working hard to push Stekelenburg and Vorm for a place in Marwijk’s team – is relishing the high-profile game, which will have a huge TV audience on both sides of the border.
“It’s a massive game,” Krul said.
“It’s fantastic. There are three goalies again. I’m looking forward to that, and just pleased again I’m included in the squad.
“I’m just going to enjoy it and push the other two in the squad to show how good I am.”
Krul is now the No1 goalkeeper at Newcastle, who travel to Premier League leaders Manchester City on Saturday.
His and the team’s form so far this season – Alan Pardew’s side are third in the table behind City and Manchester United with 11 games played – has filled him with confidence for the challenges he faces with United and Holland over the coming months.
“It’s nice to report being third in the league,” said Krul.
“It’s going fantastically well, and I can walk in with my head held high.”
Krul’s profile in his homeland was raised in the summer when he made his senior international debut against Brazil in Holland’s tour of South America.
The Premier League’s also closely followed in the country, and The Hague-born Krul’s parents proudly watched him in Newcastle’s 2-1 win over Everton earlier this month.
“I get recognised a little bit more with the two games in the summer – the Brazil game was special,” said Krul.
“The Premier League’s the biggest league in the world – there are more games on television in Holland than there are in England. My parents watched the Everton game.”