FRASER FORSTER can use performing on the European stage to prove that signing for Celtic will not destroy his dreams of playing for England.
Pat Bonner won 80 caps for the Republic of Ireland while holding down the No.1 position at Parkhead.
He explained it was while playing in Europe for the Hoops that he convinced then Ireland boss, Eoin Hand, to give him his chance at international level.
Bonner was only 21 at the time and can see no reason why Forster cannot follow him down the road of international recognition.
He does not believe playing in the SPL – which is now devoid of Old Firm games – should be any impediment to Forster realising his ambition because it is in Europe that he will be judged.
The Celtic legend said: "If you can perform well on the European stage, national team managers will judge you on that.
"Before he got the job with Ireland, Eoin Hand was manager of Limerick and remembered that he had seen me play well for Celtic in a European tie.
"That was good enough to get my first cap, even though I was only 21."
At 24, Forster has three years' more experience, the last two as Celtic's first-choice shot-stopper.
And, now that he has committed to a four-year deal, Bonner is backing him to prove wrong those who said he waved goodbye to his international chances when he decided to make his move north permanent.
"I know a lot of people said that Fraser had to leave Celtic to get his chance at international level," said Bonner. "But I never felt that was the case.
"Playing in Europe – especially if it is the Champions League – is a big opportunity to show what you can do.
"And, if Fraser can play well in Europe, I really believe there is no reason why he can't break into the England squad.
"Joe Hart is their current No.1 and is still young. But there are other places in the squad, so there is no reason why, if Fraser continues to develop, he can't get one of them.
"First of all, you have got to get your foot in the door of the squad, and that is what Fraser will be aiming to do."