By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Tim Krul admits it is "a dream come true" to be part of the Holland squad for Euro 2012, as he prepares to take part in his first major international tournament.
The 24-year-old made his senior debut less than a year ago, but in the space of 12 months has gone on to establish himself not only as a regular member in the Netherlands' ranks, but also as Newcastle's first choice stopper.
Ever-present in the Premier League last season and with 15 clean sheets to his name following a term full of eye-catching performances, Krul was subsequently named as one of three goalkeepers in the Dutch provisional party for this summer's tournament, which will be held in Poland and the Ukraine.
And, before jetting off to Switzerland on a training camp with his international teammates, Krul told nufc.co.uk how he will be fulfilling a lifelong ambition over the next couple of months.
"It is a ten-day training camp in Switzerland, and then it all starts after that," the big stopper explained.
"I'm going to a massive, massive tournament and I've been wanting that since I was a little boy.
"I always watched the European Championships on television when I was younger, so to go to it as part of the Holland squad - a massive nation like Holland - is a dream come true."
Krul will face stiff competition for game time during Euro 2012, with Roma's 45-times-capped keeper Maarten Stekelenburg currently holding the number one spot and Swansea stopper Michel Vorm also in the squad.
But United's star is well aware that he has plenty of time left in the professional game and is keen to use the tournament as a learning experience.
"I'm pleased that I'm in the squad at the moment, and I'm proud of what I have achieved this year with Newcastle," said Krul.
"I'm going into the squad with a lot of confidence, but I have two great goalies in front of me in Steklenberg and Vorm so there's going to be some hard training sessions to prove that I'm worth being there.
"Stekelenburg has got the number one shirt at the moment and we will just see what happens. But I am delighted to be a part of it, and it's something which will help me when I am back at Newcastle after the summer."