Jermaine Pennant eyeing Republic of Ireland call-up

Stoke City’s controversial winger Jermaine Pennant has revealed that he would like to play international football for the Republic of Ireland.

Pennant, who made 24 appearances for the England under-21 side, has been in conact with the Football Association of Ireland (FAI) about a possible call-up, after revealing he has an Irish grandfather.

Pennant told BBC Radio Stoke: “I’m 28, I’m not getting any younger and I’d like to play international football, whether it’s with England or Ireland.

“I’d love to play for England but it’s just never happened.”

The former Liverpool, Real Zaragoza, Arsenal and Portsmouth winger has plenty of faith in his abllity, but believes maybe he has missed the boat as far as a senior England call-up is concerned, with Fabio Capello eyeing younger, emerging talent.

Nonetheless, Pennant wants to play at the World Cup, and feels as though that isn’t beyond the realms of possibility with Ireland.

“They’re looking at younger, up-and-coming talent which is great for England” added Pennant.

“Who’s to say that Ireland can’t get to the next World Cup? If I could be a part of that with Ireland, that would be great.

“If I’ve got a chance to play international football with Ireland, I’m going to take it with both hands.

“They’ve asked previously and I said ‘I want to try and play for England’, but I never closed the door on it.

“I actually looked into it and texted my agent. I think he’s contacted them to say ‘he’s eligible to play and he’s interested’, so we’ll see what happens.

“Now they know that I’m interested, maybe they’ll start watching me in games.

“You can’t just click your fingers and say ‘pick me for the team’. You’ve got to be playing well for your club before you play for any country.”

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About AA_Richards

Football writer & all-round pen for hire. Can tiki-taka or counter-attack at pace. Differentiates Athletic from Atletico. Follow me on twitter: http://twitter.com/AA_Richards
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