“I loved every moment I had there.”
Jack Grealish has spoken fondly of his time as a Republic of Ireland underage international and explained why he decided to play for England instead.
When asked whether he felt the decision to snub Ireland was “worthwhile”, the Aston Villa captain said that he loved every second he had in an Irish jersey, but that he feels he made the right decision.
Jack Grealish on playing for Ireland.
Grealish, speaking at an England press conference ahead of Euro 2020, spoke fondly of his time with Ireland. The Villa midfielder said he loved his time with the Boys in Green.
“When I was younger I got asked to play for England and Ireland in a tournament,” he told reporters on Wednesday.
“I got asked to play for both. I went away with England and I was in my room and I was collapsed, and I got sent home.
“During that time, I went to Ireland to trial there, and I played and I just loved it. When you’re younger you just do what makes you happy, and I loved every moment I had there.”
Jack Grealish explains why he switched from Ireland to England.
Grealish played for Ireland’s underage sides from 2011 until 2014, before he officially declared for England in 2016. He got his first call up to the senior team in 2020 and is part of England’s squad for Euro 2020.
Grealish went on to explain why he switched allegiance to England. Ultimately, he said he felt English and he has never regretted his decision.
“I was just a young kid enjoying my football, and as I got older and started playing at Villa…
“Obviously, I am English, my parents are born in England… I was obviously born in England, so I feel English. I changed to England and since then I’ve never looked back.”
🗣"This is what I have wanted my whole life." ❤
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) June 9, 2021
Grealish’s father Kevin, speaking a couple of years ago, said that he still remembers his time as an Ireland player fondly.
He said: “At the start, he just played for Ireland because there were a good few Villa lads there. He had some great times. We still have the picture up in our house of him in is Ireland top when he was 17, and that will stay up there as long as we live there.”
(Originally published on June 9, 2021).