RISING star Gavin Kilkenny revealed how working alongside Scott Parker at Cherries had “improved me big-time as a player”.

The 21-year-old midfielder grasped his opportunity to earn a starting spot in the head coach’s first seven starting XIs this season.

The only time Dubliner Kilkenny has not been used by the Cherries head coach, was as an unused substitute in a 0-0 draw against Hull City in the Championship last time out.

Parker himself played 368 times in the Premier League during his illustrious playing career, as well as representing England 18 times at senior level.

And Kilkenny believes the experience of the 40-year-old former Chelsea, West Ham and Fulham ace had already had a big impact on his own game.

Asked what it was like working with Parker since the coach’s arrival at the club this summer, Kilkenny told the Daily Echo: “He’s been brilliant. Like you said, he’s a centre-midfielder himself and he’s played at the highest level.

“He works closely with me, so I’ve learned a lot. It’s been brilliant to learn from him every day and take little bits of advice and tips off him.

“I think it’s improved me big-time as a player.

“I watched him growing up as a kid, so I had an idea anyway. I know the type of player he was, you could kind of see it in his character.

“The way he speaks to the team, you can kind of tell what type of player and what type of character he was.

“I think that’s rubbing off on me and probably a lot of the lads. He’s great to have in the changing room and he’s only going to improve us.”

Kilkenny himself earned rave reviews after playing 90 minutes for Republic of Ireland’s under-21s during a 2-0 victory against Bosnia in a European qualifier on Friday.

He could be back in action tomorrow, when his nation make the trip to Luxembourg.