Jack Grealish has outlined that he always felt English, despite representing the Republic of Ireland at underage level, ahead of his first call up Gareth Southgate’s squad.
Jack Grealish represented the Boys in Green at Under-17, Under-18 and Under-21 level, before deciding to switch allegiances to England, the country of his birth.
The Aston Villa man confirmed his desire to represent England in September 2015, however he has still not won a senior cap, almost five years on.
Grealish was a late-call up to Southgate’s squad for the Nations League doubleheader with Iceland and Denmark. The 24-year-old had an impressive season in the Premier League helping Aston Villa avoid relegation.
Grealish spoke to Sky Sports ahead of the Nations League games and explained that he did not regret his switch from Ireland to England despite it taking time for him to receive his first call-up.
“Since I was a kid, I’ve felt like I’m English,” he said. “My family are English, it was just my grandparents who are Irish and when I was a young kid I was playing for Ireland because that’s what felt right.
“It felt fun, if anything. But then as I got older, I felt English, I felt like I could get into the England team, and get into the senior team, and now here I am.”
Grealish continued by outlining that he feels this England camp will act as somewhat of a trial for him.
“It’s more or less like a trial at the moment, coming in for the first time, and hopefully I can show [Southgate] what I can do in training.
“I’ve had Gareth as a manager before for the U21s and loved my time with him. It’s him as a manager. I’ve been here for two days and I can see what type of manager he is.
“He’s made time for everyone, been around to everyone speaking to all the lads and staff, and I can tell it’s a very tight-knit group here.”