Pennant wants call from Republic

08 March 2011 08:38
Stoke City winger Jermaine Pennant has confirmed that he would like to play for the Republic of Ireland after revealing he has an Irish grandfather.The ex-England Under-21 man has been in contact with the Football Association of Ireland about a possible call-up. [LNB]"I'm 28, I'm not getting any younger and I'd like to play international football, whether it's with England or Ireland," he told BBC Radio Stoke. [LNB]"I'd love to play for England but it's just never happened." [LNB]The former Arsenal and Liverpool man continued: "I don't think it's going to happen, not because of my ability, but maybe misdemeanours in the past that have put that to a halt. [LNB]"They're looking at younger, up-and-coming talent which is great for England. [LNB]"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. [LNB]"If I've got a chance to play international football with Ireland, I'm going to take it with both hands.[LNB] [LNB][LNB] "They've asked previously and I said 'I want to try and play for England', but I never closed the door on it. [LNB]"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. [LNB]"Now they know that I'm interested, maybe they'll start watching me in games. [LNB]"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." [LNB]Pennant won 24 caps for the England Under-21 side but failed to make the step up to the senior side. [LNB]He has played 25 games for Stoke since his loan move from Real Zaragoza in August, which was made permanent during the January transfer window. [LNB]There were reports that Pennant had been fined hundreds of pounds for leaving his Porsche in the car park at a railway station in Spain, but he said that the episode had been "blown out of proportion". [LNB]Pennant said: "I left it there for three weeks and my friend went to pick it up for me. [LNB]"The Spanish press wrote that I left it there for five months and they also said the club [Real Zaragoza] contacted me to tell me that the Porsche was at the station. [LNB]"When I replied saying ''no it's not, my friend has picked it up', they put in the papers that I'd replied 'oh, I didn't know I had a Porsche'. [LNB]"So the English press have run it off the Spanish press and now it's blown out of all proportion."

Source: BBC_Sport