Troy Deeney is exploring the possibility of representing Northern Ireland at international level, meaning he could join Watford teammate Craig Cathcart at this summer’s European Championships.
Seemingly resigned to the fact that a call-up to England is never going to materialise, Deeney revealed on Soccer AM this morning that enquiries have been made as to whether he is eligible to represent Michael O’Neill’s side. It is thought Deeney might qualify through a grandparent.
“We are just confirming the Northern Ireland thing at the moment,” he said on this morning’s show hosted by Helen Chamberlain and John Fenley.
Northern Ireland are in a Euro 2016 group this summer along with Germany, Ukraine and Poland.
Deeney reiterated he turned down the chance to play for Jamaica because of scheduling – not because he was waiting for the call from Roy Hodgson.
“I didn’t reject Jamaica and say ‘don’t call me’,” he said. “It was just when they did call me it was in the middle of June and I had just finished a long Championship season so I said, ‘I fancy a couple of weeks with my kids.’
“Also when they play, you have to meet up in Miami and fly to Costa Rica or wherever they are playing that week, and it’s a long old stint. When you fly back you get back on Friday morning too, so I’d miss the whole week with the Watford lads and being captain you can’t afford to do that.”
Deeney has not completely ruled out playing for England but after failing to get the nod for friendlies against Germany and Holland in the absence of the injured Wayne Rooney, Deeney is realistic enough to know his chances are slim.
“I have to be careful about what I say, but I’m just going to do my job and hopefully Mr Hodgson will give me a knock and I’ll be the first one there,” he said. “I’d be the proudest man in the country if I did get the opportunity. I just have to keep doing my job and working away.”