TOWN striker John McAliskey has been called up to the Republic of Ireland Under 21 squad.
The 20-year-old frontman has been watched by Irish Under 21 coach Don Givens and included for the friendly against Portugal in Almeida, Correia, a week on Tuesday, February 8
It's a tremendous tonic for McAliskey ahead of Saturday's trip to Walsall, when Town are bidding to chalk back-to-back League I victories for only the second time this season.
And the news comes on the day Town announced they are to play in the pre-season Copa De Ibiza against QPR, Coventry City and an Ibiza XI on the Balearic island from July 9-16.
Manager Peter Jackson, who is continuing his search for a loan defender before the match against Walsall, who lost 5-0 at Colchester last night, is delighted on both counts.
"It's excellent news for Macca to be called up and I'm delighted for him," said Jackson, who included the tall striker in today's Reserve side against Boston at the Galpharm.
"I thought it was encouraging when Don Givens watched him in the Reserves last week because I know they've been keeping a check on him all this season, having first come along at Cheltenham in our final game last time.
"It will do Macca a power of good, he doesn't miss any games with us and, hopefully, he'll get the chance to pick up a first cap."
McAliskey, who qualifies through his paternal grandfather, meets up with the squad a week on Sunday and returns on February 10, ahead of Town's trip to MK Dons.
Town's trip to Ibiza is funded by the Balearic Tourist Board and fans will be able to go to the matches only by joining an official tour organised by PlayHARD Sports, costing from £319 per person.
"We'll have got some training under our belts by then, so the invitation to go to Ibiza and play some quality opposition in QPR and Coventry is one I didn't want to turn down," said Jackson.
"It will form a major part of our build-up to next season and the fact the fans can book an official trip and be part of it all makes it so much the better for everyone."
Town duo Tony Carss and Andy Holdsworth were today having hernia operations.
They will be ruled out for about a month.