Caleb Folan told that he is enjoying playing for Republic of Ireland as they continue to impress in Group 8.

The giant Hull City striker made his first competitive start for Giovanni Trapattoni's side in the 1-1 draw with Bulgaria on Saturday and stood out as one of the better players.

When he was originally drafted into the squad, there was a lot of skepticism about whether he could cut it at international level or not, but so far he was performed well.

Folan was paired with Robbie Keane up front in Sofia and played a key role in helping Ireland to ruin Bulgaria's chances of qualifying for next year's World Cup as well as strengthening his own reputation within the Irish camp.

"I thought that I did okay [in the game against Bulgaria]. Obviously, my fitness has improved and things went well for the most part. I'll always try to do my best for the team," Folan told

"This is probably the highest level that a player can play at and it certainly makes you add that extra bit to your performance.

"When playing international football, you are playing with and against experienced players. So you always try to take things from them and keep improving.

"I've enjoyed linking up with Ireland. The training has been top class, the manager is brilliant, the players are a good, talented group, and the fans are very passionate.

"Hopefully I can keep doing well for the team and we can qualify for the World Cup."