Sunday 19 November 2017

Jack Grealish's father remains tight-lipped on son's international future as FA tempt Villa star

Kevin Grealish and his son Jack
Kevin Grealish and his son Jack Newsdesk Newsdesk

Jack Grealish's international future is looking increasingly uncertain after his father Kevin declined to answer a question on his son's preferences on BBC Radio 5 live last night.

The 19-year-old's standout performance in Aston Villa's 2-1 FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool has sparked a renewed tug-of-war between the FAI and the English FA for his services.

Grealish declined interview requests after Villa’s victory at Wembley, but he suggested last month, albeit at an FAI awards night, that “hopefully next year I’ll be back in the green jersey”.

Reports across the water say that the English FA want to offer Grealish a place in this summer's U-20 tournament in Toulon with a view to getting him to switch allegiance although he would actually be unavailable for half of that competition due to Villa's commitment in the final.

Shay Given appeared on Newstalk last night and revealed that Grealish was "confused" over his international future.

"He's at a crossroads and it's a tricky one," said Given on Newstalk. "I'm in his ear all the time but he's a little bit confused, he's a very young man and it's such a big decision to be making at a young age.

"The English FA will be thinking, my God, we've got to get this boy onto our books as well. He's played underage with Ireland and he's enjoyed it, he's told me he loves playing for Ireland and coming across. We're coaxing him along and hopefully he'll play for us. He has a strong connection with Ireland.

"I think they're just undecided. Fans, players, and Irish people want to know yesterday (his decision) but I really think deep down he doesn't know yet himself."

His father Kevin shunned a question on his future last night but revealed that he wore the jersey Jack had on in Wembley to do the school run.

Grealish senior has been kitted out in the match-worn replica shirt all day yesterday following Villa’s FA Cup semi-final victory over Liverpool.

He put it on yesterday morning and wore it while he dropped Jack’s sisters Kiera, 13, and Holly, 11, off at school.

Read more: Ireland fears realised as English FA plan swoop for 'confused' Jack Grealish

Read more: John Fallon: Martin O'Neill's handling of Jack Grealish saga leaves a lot to be desired

“I came downstairs this morning and Jack had left his top on the sofa so I decided to do the school run in it,” Kevin told the Birmingham Mail.

“When they got back the players went out for a little celebration and a few drinks so Jack being Jack he just left it lying around.

“I thought I’ll have a bit of fun around town wearing that. It’s a bit smelly, but that’s the sweat of hard graft. It’s was a brilliant day for the Villa and a brilliant day for the family.

“After I’ve worn it to wind up some of the Blues fans and Albion fans in my gym and in my local pub I’m getting to get it framed so we’ve got a memento of a great game!”

Listen to the audio of him telling the story on BBC 5 Live last night below:

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