The Premier League midfielder is not planning on pulling a Declan Rice.
English-born Joe Hodge has discussed his Ireland future, telling every Irish football fan exactly what they want to hear.
Hodge just signed a new contract at Wolves, and has been playing regularly this season, even under new manager Julian Lopetegui.
Despite playing regular football with a Premier League team, Hodge still hasn’t made his Ireland debut, which has become a cause for concern for a number of Irish football fans.
Considering what has happened with the likes of Declan Rice and Jack Grealish in the past, it’s understandable that Irish fans are a bit apprehensive about getting excited over an English-born footballer, but there is clearly no reason to be concerned in Hodge’s case.
In an interview with the Sunday Times, Hodge talked about whether or not he wanted to declare for Ireland, giving Stephen Kenny and his staff the answer they want to hear.
A new four-and-a-half year contract for Ireland U21 midfielder Joe Hodge 🇮🇪⚽️🔥
"Joe’s still young, he’s got to stay humble and stay patient, because he’s going to be a big, important part of our squad going forward," said Wolves director Matt Hobbs after the news. #COYBIG pic.twitter.com/LB1E6ZCaZw
— Kenny's Kids (@KennysKids) January 21, 2023
Joe Hodge on Ireland future
He said: “Hand on my heart. I don’t have a problem saying that I want to play for Ireland. I am clear on it. I don’t have a problem coming to do an interview like this because I am not fazed by that question. Up until I was 16 I played for both and never turned down a call up, but when I had the choice I picked Ireland and I wouldn’t turn back on that.”
“I’m committed to Ireland but it does get annoying because I’ve never given any suggestion that I would play for England. I have never turned down a call up for Ireland.
“Hopefully Stephen picks me. If he doesn’t then it doesn’t change anything for me. I will keep working hard and try to get in the squad and, if that doesn’t work, then get in the squad after that.”
With Ireland set to take on France in their first Euro 2024 qualifier in March, it seems a guarantee that Hodge will be in that squad.
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