Ireland look like they might lose out to Roy Hodgson in the battle over Aston Villa’s Jack Grealish – a young man who looks like a Victorian era chimney sweep who been adopted by a well-to-do family, given a hot bath and clean pair of britches.
However, manager Martin O’Neill seems determined not to let another promising young talent escape, as he’s confirmed talks with Arsenal youngster Dan Crowley.
The 18 year old, currently on loan at Barnsley, has played for England U16s and U17s, and has also represented the Republic of Ireland at U17 level, and the former Leicester manager is laying the groundwork for him to do so at senior level too.
“I spoke to his father and we had a very civil conversation. He’s a very, very pleasant man,” he said, which is nice to hear. There should be more pleasant people in this world.
Our friends at Balls.ie report that he’s sent his assistant Roy Keane to scout him (and possibly have a ‘quiet word’ in his ear), but also that he won’t put any pressure on him to make a decision anytime soon, saying: “Of course you have meetings and all of that but you would want, as best as possible, for a player not to be forced into something that he might regret further on.
“You want the decision to come from the player, from his family, from his heart.”
Crowley qualifies for Ireland through his grandparents, who are from Waterford, as rules have been tightened in recent years.
Famously, Andy Townsend was eligible for Ireland for having once read a Samuel Beckett play [“There wasn’t no tactics in it I couldn’t not get to grips with”, he said], while Tony Cascarino wasn’t even Irish at all yet still played 88 times.