English Premiership

Shelvey refutes ever turning down England

2015-09-02 20:56
Jonjo Shelvey (Getty Images)

London - England's Swansea City midfielder Jonjo Shelvey, hoping to earn a first start for his country away to San Marino on Saturday, has denied ever refusing to play for the Under-21 team.

England manager Roy Hodgson, who gave him a full international debut as substitute -- also against San Marino -- in 2012, said last year he believed Shelvey was "reticent" about going back to Gareth Southgate's Under-21 side after that.

But the former Charlton and Liverpool player told a news conference on Wednesday that there had been a misunderstanding.

"A lot of it's been rumours and been misread," he said.

"I spoke to Gareth, who said that when the Euro Under-21 (Championship) came round, he didn't expect me still to be with them.

"I've always made myself available for my country. If I didn't my dad would have killed me.

"I'll play anywhere for my country, it's just an honour to be here."

Shelvey, 23, became Charlton's youngest first-team player at the age of 16 in 2008 and joined Liverpool two years later.

He made 69 appearances in three seasons, as well as having a spell on loan at Blackpool, but was sold to Swansea in 2013, becoming a first-team regular for the past two seasons.

Now he hopes for a full England cap in one of the two internationals during the coming week, in which Hodgson's team can seal qualification for the Euro 2016 finals.

Top of Group E with a 100 percent record after six games, England also host second-placed Switzerland on Tuesday.

Shelvey revealed that Hodgson had spoken to the squad at a meeting on Tuesday night about the possibility of winning every one of the 10 qualifying games.

"There's no reason why we can't do it," the Swansea player said. "We've got the ability in the team to do that."

Read more on:    england  |  euro 2016  |  roy hodgson  |  jonjo shelvey  |  soccer
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