HE tussled with Neymar, Pato and Oscar last summer but now Cameron Howieson is desperate to get involved in the hustle and bustle of League One.
The 18-year-old Kiwi last week joined Rovers from Burnley on a youth loan until the end of the season.
And the attacking midfielder is keen for game time as soon as possible to build upon his incredible experience with the New Zealand team at London 2012.
That included a full half against a star-packed Brazil side at St James’ Park.
“It was a great honour for me to play at the Olympics,” Howieson said.
“I got some game time against Brazil and to play against a team like that was amazing.
“You’re almost not focussed on the ball, you’re just can’t believe you’re playing against these players.
“You just try and stay away from someone like Neymar,” he joked.
“His movement and skills are unbelievable. It was a great learning experience for me.”
Howieson will spend around ten days away from Doncaster next month to join up with New Zealand for a round robin qualification tournament in Fiji for the U20 World Cup.
He will hope to line up against the likes of Papua New Guinea, Vanuatu, New Caledonia and Fiji when he links up with the All Whites squad on March 12.
But for now, his focus is firmly on forcing his way into the Rovers’ side as the promotion push intensifies.
Howieson said: “Being here is all about getting some first team football.
“Hopefully if I can get out on the pitch then I can help them get up to the Championship.
“I’m still young and I’ve got lots to learn but I know I have plenty of offer.
“The gaffer at Burnley told me Brian Flynn will help me develop as a player so I’m really looking forward to working under him.
“I know Doncaster are a passing side and I like to pass so this move seemed a good fit for me.
“Being involved with English clubs helps you get noticed so impressing while I’m here will help me stay in the national team picture.”
Howieson joined Burnley as a 16-year-old in 2010 after being recommended by a former scout of the Lancashire club.
He has since made two appearances as a substitute, both towards the back end of last season.
“It’s tough moving away from family but my dad is over here with me now,” he said.
“I first moved away from home when I was 13 to go to an academy in Christchurch so I’m used to it.
“This is where I want to be as a footballer.”
Rovers manager Flynn says it was attributes that Howieson shares with his countrymen the All Blacks that first attracted him to the midfielder.
“Cameron is a typical Kiwi,” Flynn said.
“If you look at the rugby team and the strength and power they’ve got, he’s got some of that.
“He’s a strong boy, particularly upper body-wise and he won’t get bullied off the ball.
“But he’s also certainly got an eye for goal and he’s got great composure on the ball.”
Flynn has promised Howieson will get a chance to impress before the end of the season.
But he has urged him to be ready for the call to come.
He said: “Cameron will get his chance, he then just has to take it.
“He’s definitely going to be involved with us before he goes away with New Zealand next month.
“I’ve got a lot of confidence in the lad and I’m sure he’ll be fine when he gets that chance.”
Howieson is again likely to be on the bench as Rovers travel to Shrewsbury Town tonight.
He was named among the substitutes for Saturday’s 1-1 draw with Yeovil Town on Saturday but was not used.
Competition for places in central midfield has intensified following the return to fitness of David Syers and Paul Keegan, plus the addition of John Lundstram who made his debut last weekend after joining on loan from Everton.