Friday 20 September 2019

Jack Grealish trolled by Irish fans after Euro 2016 qualification

Young Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish chose England over Ireland earlier this year – and may be regretting that now

Jack Grealish opted to represent England rather than the Republic of Ireland
Jack Grealish opted to represent England rather than the Republic of Ireland

Sean Gibson

Some Irish fans weren't too busy celebrating their Euro 2016 qualification last night to miss out on the chance of goading Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish.

Two goals from Jon Walters were enough to win the Republic's play-off against Bosnia and book their place at the finals in France next June – with Irish supporters revelling in their certainty that they won't be seeing Grealish there with them.

The former Republic youth international turned down the chance to be part of the senior set-up and fans were not going to miss the opportunity to remind him where he might have been next summer.

The 20-year-old Grealish represented the Republic of Ireland throughout the youth age groups but earlier this year snubbed the opportunity of a full cap, instead choosing to try to carve out a senior international career with England.

However, Grealish has yet to win a cap with the Three Lions as Fifa has yet to grant international clearance.

Technically that still leaves the door open to a u-turn and a future career with the Republic – though that looks a nonsensical prospect at this moment.

Grealish initially made a splash in an ailing Aston Villa side last season, featuring prominently in his team's run to the FA Cup final.

The midfielder has struggled to maintain the momentum of last season and has not been helped by off-the-field matters.

The Englishman was the subject of a photograph posted on Twitter over the summer, pictured drunk and prostrate on a road while holidaying in Tenerife.

Fifa had quite a busy summer themselves and it is set to be well into the new year before Grealish gets clearance from Fifa that he is free to play for England.

But with Grealish's potential and England manager Roy Hodgson's penchant for favouring youth in his squad selections, these Irish fans had better not count too heavily that they won't see their old pal Grealish with them in France 2016 after all.

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