Aston Villa starlet Jack Grealish's dad steps in to defend son in international row

Kevin Grealish has explained why Jack rejected his most recent Ireland call-up.

Jack Grealish has made a real impact at Aston Villa since Tim Sherwood took over the managerial reigns at Villa Park.

The 19-year-old has gone from hot prospect to first-team regular, which has seen his international future cast into considerable doubt.

The teenager has played for the Republic of Ireland at youth level but is also eligible for England. He has so far failed to commit his future to any nation on the full senior level. It was revealed by Ireland boss Martin O'Neill this week that Grealish had rejected the latest call-up to the senior squad - as he still needs time to decide who he plays for.

That decision was criticised heavily by former Birmingham City and Ireland captain Kenny Cunningham this morning, but now Jack's father has come out in staunch support of his boy.

Kevin Grealish, who also acts as his agent, told the Irish Mirror:

“We appreciated the call from Martin but there was no way Jack was going to accept. I reiterated to him that we told (U21 manager) Noel King Jack was taking the year out to concentrate on Villa.

“Being English-born and having Irish relatives, Jack would probably get booed by both sets of fans if he played next month.

“Jack will complete the club season, hopefully with an FA Cup winners’ medal, before taking a break. After that we’ll look at the international situation.”

Grealish is certainly in a predicament. He has played for Ireland at youth level and has Irish ancestry but he was born and raised in Birmingham. He clearly is torn between what to do with his international future and at just 19 the pressure being put on him to choose now is ridiculous.

Hopefully Grealish's performances will not falter after these most recent distractions an he can continue being a shining light from the Premier League season.

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