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06th Aug 2015

Matt Holland: My situation was slightly different to Jack Grealish’s

Darragh Murphy

English-born creative midfielder who’s eligible to play for the Republic of Ireland?

You’d have thought that Matt Holland would be the person with the most to say about Jack Grealish’s international future.

But Holland, who earned 49 caps for the Republic of Ireland, admits that there is a bit of a difference between his own decision to declare for Ireland and the position in which the Aston Villa youngster currently finds himself.

Matt Holland of Ireland

“They’re slightly different situations,” Holland said. “He’s a young boy and he’s got two managers really vying for him. I was a little bit later on in my career, 24 or 25, when I got the call from Mick [McCarthy].

“I had absolutely no hesitation. As soon as I got the phonecall from McCarthy I was desperate to come and play for Ireland and had no hesitation in saying ‘yes.’

“Jack’s obviously in a slightly different position where he’s got a big decision to make. He’s taking his time over it, he’s taking the necessary advice… but ultimately it comes down to him. It comes down to his gut feeling and where he feels he belongs. He can speak to as many people as you want. He can speak to everyone in this room but ultimately it’s his decision that matters.

“It’d be fantastic if he did decide to play for Ireland as I think he’d make a difference to us because I think he’s got great ability but time will tell.”

Presenter Conor Morris and pundits Kenny Cunningham, John Hartson and Matt Holland were at the Setanta Sports studios in Dublin today to mark the return of Premier League Central for the 2015/2016 Premier League season.  Premier League Central, the first place to see Premier League highlights, is back on the air this Saturday, August 8th at 8.30pm.

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