Irvine extends Killie loan deal

SOCCEROOS prospect Jackson Irvine has had his loan deal with SPL club Kilmarnock extended until the end of the 2013-14 season.

The 20-year-old utility joined Killie on loan for six months from Celtic at the start of the season and has impressed at Rugby Park.

Kilmarnock manager Allan Johnston confirmed this week that Irvine’s loan deal would be extended to the end of the season.

Irvine has made 18 appearances for Kilmarnock this season, including 17 starts.

The Melbourne-born youngster also made his Socceroos debut in October against Canada and could use the loan deal to be a bolter for the 2014 World Cup.

"I wanted to stay and keep trying to play every week and keep growing as a player," Irvine told the Daily Record.

"In terms of playing games, there's lots of things you learn. You deal with criticism, not just from the press but the fans, and getting in tough situations like making mistakes.

"Obviously I had my blunder against Motherwell at the start of the season. If I did that in an under-20s game it would have gone unnoticed, but when you make a mistake here you get punished for it.

"You don't want to disappoint the fans and the team-mates. It's a different level of pressure and that's just as important as the technical side of the game, learning to deal with that on the park."

Kilmarnock are currently eighth on the SPL table and take on Partick Thistle on Saturday.