Sport

Still not alright Jack – Grealish not named in Ireland squad

SportBy Sunday World
Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish

Jack Grealish has rejected an invitation to join up with the Republic of Ireland senior squad, despite the efforts of boss Martin O'Neill to call-up the Aston Villa starlet.

O'Neill has confirmed that he spoke to Grealish and his father over a call-up for the upcoming games against England and Scotland, but the youngster preferred to delay his decision over which country he will commit his international future to.

English-born Grealish is now 1/3 on to opt to wait for a call-up Roy Hodgson's England squad with bookies Paddy Power, with that prospect moving closer after his sparkling run of form in Villa's revival over the last few weeks.

Even though Grealish has played for the Republic of Ireland at junior levels, O'Neill has confirmed he failed in his bid to recruit the teenager.

"I spoke to both Jack and his father, and I think Jack just didn't want to make his mind up at this stage," confirmed O'Neill.

"He wanted to complete the season at Aston Villa - there are some important games for them coming up - and he wants to make his decision at some time in the future.

When asked whether he was disappointed by Grealish's decision, O'Neill added: "Yes, I suppose I am. He has been doing very well recently and it would have been nice, but that's Jack's decision.

"I spoke to the father and said I would like to have brought him into it, but of course you don't want to force someone who might not want to make that decision just at this moment."

Alan Judge of Brentford and Aberdeen's Adam Rooney are the newcomers, but Grealish is not included despite the manager speaking to both the player and his father and indicating that he wanted him aboard.

Irish football supporters will be annoyed by the latest delay in Grealish making up his mind. O'Neill just admitted to him being 'disappointed'.

The Derryman made the point that in the last five weeks the midfielder has played as many games for Aston Villa as he did in the previous 30 and that changed his mind about bringing him in.

Grealish was even offered the olive branch, according to O'Neill, of just playing in the friendly against England, but not the competitive game against the Scots.

That would not have tied Jack to playing for Ireland forever, but he refused that too and now the question marks over his international future are likely to rumble on for a few more months.

IRELAND SQUAD FOR THE FRIENDLY AGAINST ENGLAND AND THE EURO 2016 QUALIFIER AGAINST SCOTLAND

GOALKEEPERS: David Forde (Millwall), Shay Given (Aston Villa), Keiren Westwood (Sheffield Wednesday), Darren Randolph (Birmingham)

DEFENDERS: Richard Keogh (Derby), Marc Wilson (Stoke), Seamus Coleman (Everton), Cyrus Christie (Derby), John O'Shea (Sunderland), Alex Pearce (Reading), Paul McShane (Hull), Stephen Ward (Burnley)

MIDFIELDERS: James McCarthy (Everton), Jeff Hendrick (Derby), Harry Arter (Bournemouth), Glenn Whelan (Stoke), Aiden McGeady (Everton), James McClean (Wigan), Alan Judge (Brentford), Robbie Brady (Hull), Anthony Pilkington (Cardiff), Stephen Quinn, David Meyler (both Hull), Wes Hoolahan (Norwich)

FORWARDS: Robbie Keane (LA Galaxy), Shane Long (Southampton), Daryl Murphy (Ipswich), Jon Walters (Stoke), Kevin Doyle (Colorado Rapids), Anthony Stokes (Celtic), David McGoldrick (Ipswich), Adam Rooney (Aberdeen), Simon Cox (Reading)