By Anthony Marshall - Newcastle United Club Reporter
Monday afternoon saw Tim Krul join up with his United teammates for the first time this summer, and the goalkeeper believes he is an even better player for his experiences at Euro 2012.
Krul failed to make it off the substitutes' bench during the tournament in Poland and Ukraine, and could only watch on from the sidelines as Holland lost all three of their group games, resulting in a shock early exit.
But, speaking from the Magpies' training camp in Germany, the 24-year-old insists it was a valuable learning curve and has only served to strengthen his motivation to one day stand between the sticks on a regular basis for the Netherlands.
"It was an experience for me and one that will stand me in good stead," Krul told nufc.co.uk in an exclusive interview following his return.
"I was involved at a major tournament, I've got to remember that, and it was great to be a part of it.
"It's just a shame that it turned out to be such a difficult tournament for Holland.
"Losing three times in a row is not what the Dutch national team do. So from that point of view it was a big shame, but for me it was a great experience overall.
"Being there made me realise that's where I want to be. I want to be the number one for my country and play in tournaments like that every two years.
"It was exciting to be there, see what it's like and it gave me a real taste for it.
"It's given me a real push to perform well for Newcastle and make it where I want to be for the national team."
Krul will be back on the training pitch on Tuesday morning, as his preparations for the 2012/13 campaign get underway.
And having watched United beat Monaco 1-0 in their second friendly of the summer, the stopper cannot wait to pull his gloves on again, despite the gruelling pre-season programme that lies in wait for him.
"I'm excited to be back and it's good to see the boys again after a break," he explained.
"Woody (Andy Woodman, goalkeeping coach) has already had a few words with me and he's got some training programmes for me to get going with.
"But I'm looking forward to it. Holidays are nice but after a while you start to miss the football and I have been raring to go again."