Kilmarnock star Jordan Jones is fully deserved of his first Northern Ireland call-up, according to the editor of a popular club fanzine.
The man behind the ‘Killie Hippo’, Sandy Armour, says the winger will take much-welcomed confidence from the news.
“It’s fantastic news for the player firstly – it will give him a real confidence booster. He’s a fantastic player and has played really well recently.
“He’s quite a confident guy anyway so getting called into the Northern Ireland setup can only increase that.”
Born and raised in England, Jones, 22, qualifies for Northern Ireland through family ties and has impressed for his club in recent weeks.
He opened his goalscoring account for the season against high-flyers Aberdeen last weekend to rescue a superb point for the struggling Ayrshire outfit.
But at a time when morale at Kilmarnock is low with the club languishing at the foot of the SPFL Premiership table, Armour believes Jones’ nod for his country brings positive exposure for Killie, as well as increasing his own personal profile.
“It’s great publicity for the club. It shows that players can come here and still get recognised internationally rather than moving onto bigger clubs in the English Premier League for example.
“The fact he is in the international squad increases his profile and with that, other teams will be aware of them. He’s already had interest from three English Championship teams in recent weeks.
Jones’ good displays on the pitch has certainly alerted the attention of domestic managers in Scotland but Armour knows he can reach even higher levels
“As a Killie fan, we want to see him here as long as possible and get the best out of him. He just needs to work on his final ball and decision making but after that, I think he can definitely move onto a higher level.
“It’s quite noticeable that there’s two or three players marking him nowadays and that shows clubs are targeting him as Killie’s most dangerous player.