Manager Keith Hill was pleased to see Ryan Delaney feature for Republic of Ireland under-21s earlier this week.
Having been an unused sub in their qualifier against Kosovo last week, the Dale defender was handed a start against Germany on Tuesday night, in the last of the latest round of qualifiers for next year’s UEFA Under-21 Qualifiers in Italy and San Marino.
He played the full game for his national side at the Tallaght Stadium against a strong German team, who emerged 6-0 victors.
“It’ll be the best worst opportunity that presented itself,” said Hill.
“But knowing Ryan, there’s no way he’ll hide from it, dive from it or run from it. A long time ago when I first started management with Flicker, we always wanted to play against better opponents, because it helps you improve. Regardless of the scoreline, you will improve by playing against better opposition because you’re learning.
“Ryan is a big, big learner and a big developer, and he’s one of those players in our squad who is still developing. He’s only just turned 22 years of age, and he’s massive in his development curve. He'll have learned from that oppportunity to play against Germany.
“It must be brilliant to represent your country and he deserves that type of reward. He’ll learn from that opportunity for the rest of his career.”