Aaron Connolly admits he thought a call from Mick McCarthy last Saturday was a wind-up by his friends.
The teenage forward has flown out with the Republic of Ireland squad to Georgia today ahead of Saturday's Euro 2020 qualifier.
He received the call from McCarthy after scoring twice for Brighton against Spurs last weekend:
"After the Tottenham game, I went for food with my dad," Connolly told FAI TV.
"It's weird. I used to watch Premier League goals with him all the time and I always felt I could do something like that, it’s just I never thought I’d get the chance.
"So to do it against Tottenham, twice, is a 'pinch me' moment. Maybe after these few days are all over, I can move on to the next few months and years of my career.
"I couldn’t have asked for more in how I wanted a debut to go. Everything went well, the two goals, the win. It was just a mad day, the best day I’ve ever had in football. A moment to treasure.
"After I’d dropped my dad to Gatwick Airport, I’d just arrived in my girlfriend’s house and a team-mate had said the Ireland manager had been on looking for my number.
"I thought it was a wind-up. But it was true. I rang my parents and they were just shocked. They didn’t expect it either.
"I hadn’t heard much on social media. It was the proudest thing any 19-year-old Irish kid who wants to play for his country could experience.
"I was speechless until I let my family and my girlfriend’s family know."