Jack Grealish speaks about his decision to play for England for the first time

The 20-year-old explains how he feels "more English than Irish" and his surprise at the amount of abuse he has received from Irish fans

Jack Grealish made a difficult decision almost 12 months ago regarding his international future and since then has gone on to suffer through some of the worst moments of his young career. 

From being pictured on holidays in a drunken stupor to being relegated and forgotten about by former Aston Villa manager Remi Garde, the youngster has had some trying times of late but he can't believe the level of vitriol dished his way by Irish fans for what he believes to be a good decision.

The 20-year-old spoke with Martin O'Neill but decided his best course of action was to declare for England seeing as both he and both his parents were born in England and he felt "more English than Irish".

In an interview with the Telegraph, Grealish explains how that decision has caused some of the worst scrutiny he has been on the end of since then.

“It was a big decision and wasn’t easy for me. I thought about it for a long time, spoke with my family and my agent, but in the end it came from me," he says

“I didn’t think it was going to be so big, I didn’t expect so much abuse from Ireland fans. I was still getting it during the Euro’s!

“But for my career I think if I fulfil my ability I feel I can play for England in years to come. I was born here, as were my parents, so I felt more English than Irish.

“I played for England at the Toulon Tournament and that was a great experience. I didn’t really have a winning feeling last season so to play four of the five games, and score twice, ended it on a good note.

“A cap for the under-21s is the next target. There’s a qualifier in September and I want to try and be involved in that.”

In the wide-ranging interview, Grealish spoke about his holiday that resulted in the pictures of him seemingly passed out on the ground.

“We all make mistakes when we’re young but you won’t be seeing me do any of that again," he says.

“I felt like a kid last summer and in February last year, before Tim Sherwood came in, nobody would have known who I was. I didn’t realise what the attention would be like, I just thought I’d go on holiday like all young lads do.

“I look back on it now and as a professional footballer you can’t do that sort of thing. We’re supposed to be role models for kids.”