Jack Grealish

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Jack Grealish
Jack Grealish aug 2014.jpg
Grealish playing for Aston Villa in 2014
Personal information
Full name Jack Peter Grealish[1]
Date of birth (1995-09-10) 10 September 1995 (age 23)[2]
Place of birth Birmingham, England
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)[3]
Playing position Winger / Attacking midfielder
Club information
Current team
Aston Villa
Number 10
Youth career
2001–2012 Aston Villa
Senior career*
Years Team Apps (Gls)
2012– Aston Villa 102 (9)
2013–2014Notts County (loan) 37 (5)
National team
2011–2012 Republic of Ireland U17 7 (3)
2012–2013 Republic of Ireland U18 6 (2)
2013–2014 Republic of Ireland U21 6 (1)
2016–2017 England U21 7 (2)
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 16:19, 1 October 2018 (UTC)

Jack Peter Grealish (born 10 September 1995) is an English professional footballer who plays as a winger or as an attacking midfielder for Championship club Aston Villa.

Grealish joined Aston Villa at the age of six, and made his debut for the club in May 2014, following a loan at Notts County. Eligible to represent either England or the Republic of Ireland internationally, Grealish was capped by the Republic of Ireland up to under-21 level before confirming his decision to play for England in April 2016. He played for the England under-21s for the first time in May 2016, winning the 2016 Toulon Tournament.

Early life[edit]

Grealish was born in Birmingham, West Midlands[4] and raised in nearby Solihull.[5] He attended Our Lady of Compassion Roman Catholic Primary School and St Peter's Roman Catholic Secondary School in Solihull.[6]

He is of Irish descent, through his maternal grandfather from County Dublin, his paternal grandfather from Gort, County Galway, and his paternal grandmother from Sneem, County Kerry.[7][8][9] Influenced by his Irish heritage, Grealish played gaelic football for John Mitchel's Hurling and Camogie Club of Warwickshire GAA between the ages of 10 and 14. He competed against former Aston Villa Ladies and current Birmingham City Ladies defender Aoife Mannion, a school classmate of his, at gaelic football.[10][11][unreliable source?] On 4 August 2009, Grealish scored a point representing Warwickshire GAA at Croke Park during half-time of the 2009 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship quarter-final between Dublin and Kerry.[12]

His great-great grandfather, Billy Garraty, was also a footballer, who earned one England cap and won the 1905 FA Cup Final with Aston Villa.[13][14]

Club career[edit]

Aston Villa[edit]

Grealish, a lifelong Aston Villa fan, joined the club as a six-year-old.[8][9][15] At the age of 16, he was named as an unused substitute in a 4–2 home Premier League defeat against Chelsea on 31 March 2012.[16] Grealish was part of the club's under-19 team that won the 2012–13 NextGen Series,[17] scoring in a 3–1 extra-time win over Sporting CP in the semi-finals.[18][unreliable source?]

2013–14 season[edit]

On 13 September 2013, Grealish joined League One club Notts County on a youth loan until 13 January 2014.[19] He made his professional debut the following day, coming on as a 59th-minute substitute for David Bell in a 3–1 away defeat to Milton Keynes Dons.[20][21] On 7 December, he scored his first career goal, beating three defenders to score the last goal in a 3–1 win over Gillingham at Meadow Lane, and followed this a week later by opening a 4–0 victory at Colchester United.[22][23] Grealish extended his loan with Notts County on 17 January 2014 until end of season.[24] He ended his loan with five goals and seven assists in 38 appearances.[8]

At the end of his loan with Notts County, Grealish returned to Aston Villa and made his club debut on 7 May, coming on as an 87th-minute substitute for Ryan Bertrand in a 4–0 away defeat to Manchester City in the Premier League.[25]

2014–15 season[edit]

Grealish (left) playing for Aston Villa in 2014

In May 2014, Grealish played in the Hong Kong Soccer Sevens, he finished as top scorer with six goals as Villa won the Shield title.[26] With his contract due to expire in the summer of 2015, he was offered a new four-year deal by the club in September 2014.[15] On 14 October, Grealish signed a new four-year contract with Aston Villa.[27]

Grealish made his first start in an FA Cup third round tie on 4 January 2015 against Blackpool at Villa Park, which his team won 1–0. He played 75 minutes before being substituted for Andreas Weimann.[28] On 7 March, in the sixth round, a 2–0 home win over West Bromwich Albion, he replaced Charles N'Zogbia after 74 minutes, and was sent off for a second booking for diving in added time.[29] On 7 April, Grealish started his first match for Aston Villa in the Premier League, a 3–3 home draw against Queens Park Rangers in which his performance was highly praised.[30] In the FA Cup semi-final against Liverpool at Wembley Stadium, Grealish played a part in both of Villa's goals including assisting Fabian Delph's winner, as they came from behind to advance to the final.[31] On 30 May, Grealish played the entirety of the 2015 FA Cup Final at Wembley Stadium, as Villa lost 4–0 to Arsenal.[32]

In April 2015, Grealish was warned by Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood after The Sun published images showing him allegedly inhaling nitrous oxide for recreational purposes. Sherwood said that "We can't condone that behaviour. He is now in a responsible position as a professional footballer, he's got to make sure it won't happen again, he's assured me it won't. But, as I said about Raheem last week, he's a young man, he was even younger a year earlier when the picture was taken."[33]

2015–16 season[edit]

Grealish scored his first goal for Villa on 13 September 2015, a 20-yard shot to open the scoring away to Leicester City; however, his team lost 3–2.[34]

In November, he chose to stay in North West England and go clubbing after Villa's 4–0 loss to Everton. New manager Rémi Garde punished him for this decision by making Grealish train with the under-21 team, and stated that "You have to behave as a professional and it was not the case this time for Jack".[35] He returned to full training on 8 December.[36] On 7 January 2016, Leeds United head coach Steve Evans revealed that Aston Villa had rejected an enquiry to take Grealish on loan.[37]

Villa finished the season in last place, ending their status as Premier League ever-presents. Grealish played 16 matches, all defeats, breaking a record for worst season previously held by Sunderland's Sean Thornton, who lost in all 11 of his appearances in 2002–03.[38]

2016–17 season[edit]

In September 2016, Aston Villa opened an internal disciplinary investigation after reports that Grealish was at a party at a Birmingham hotel which had to be shut down by the police in the early morning. In response, owner Tony Xia wrote on Twitter that Grealish had to focus on and off the pitch, and associate with the right people.[39] In October, Grealish was suspended for three matches after accepting a charge of violent conduct following a stamp on Conor Coady in Villa's 1–1 draw with Wolverhampton Wanderers.[40]

International career[edit]

Republic of Ireland[edit]

Though born in England, Grealish represented the Republic of Ireland at international level while in his teens. Grealish was called up to an England U15 training camp but was sent home after falling ill.[41][unreliable source?] Since then he represented the Republic of Ireland since first being called up at the age of 14 and won caps from under-15 to under-21 level.[citation needed]

While playing in Irish youth teams, England were known to have been pursuing him, even naming him in their under-17 team in 2011 at the age of 15 – an invitation he declined.[42]

After being left out the Republic of Ireland under-21 team for three qualifiers in October 2012, the English FA made an approach for him to switch. Republic of Ireland under-21 manager Noel King revealed in May 2013 that the 17-year-old was pondering a switch to England so he was not considered for a friendly against Denmark, although King later stepped in to assure Grealish and his family that he was a part of his plans.[citation needed]

He made his under-21 debut for the Republic of Ireland as a late substitute against the Faroe Islands in August 2013. In 2013, Grealish reaffirmed his desire to continue representing Ireland.[43]

In August 2014, Grealish was again named to the Republic of Ireland under-21 squad. It was initially reported that he would decline the call up to the under-21s due to being undecided over his international future,[44][45] however Grealish did turn out for the Republic of Ireland in a 2–0 loss against Germany. It later emerged that Grealish had actually declined a call-up to the senior Irish team after talks with Martin O'Neill.[8][46] In October 2014, Grealish pulled out of a Republic of Ireland under-21 squad for a game against Norway to play in a behind closed doors friendly for his club Aston Villa and England under-21 manager Gareth Southgate confirmed that the Football Association were monitoring the player's situation.[47][48] Reports emerged on 17 October that Grealish had declared for Ireland and would make his senior debut the next month[49] but this was denied by the player.[50] Grealish was awarded the Under-21 player of the year by the Football Association of Ireland in March 2015 where he announced that he had taken a break from youth internationals over the past year to focus on breaking into the Aston Villa first team and that he expected to be back playing for Ireland in the near future.[51] In May 2015, O'Neill confirmed that Grealish had turned down another call-up to the Irish senior squad, this time for a friendly against England and a European Championship qualifier against Scotland.[52] England manager Roy Hodgson disclosed that although he had been in contact with Grealish, he had chosen not to include him in their squad to face Ireland in case of a backlash.[53] In August 2015, Hodgson met with Grealish to discuss his future.[54]

England[edit]

On 28 September 2015, Grealish confirmed that he had decided to represent England at international level.[55]

On 19 May 2016, he made his debut for England under-21s as a 72nd-minute substitute for Ruben Loftus-Cheek in a 1–0 win over Portugal at the Toulon Tournament.[56] On his first start four days later he scored twice in the first half of a 7–1 win over Guinea.[57] England went on to win the tournament for the first time since 1994.[58]

Grealish was named in the squad for England under-21 at the 2017 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.[59] From 2016 to 2017, he made seven appearances for the under-21s, scoring two goals.[60]

Style of play[edit]

Grealish plays as a winger or attacking midfielder, and has been noted for his ability to run and dribble past defenders.[61] Bryan Jones, Aston Villa's former academy director, likened his playing style to that of Nottingham Forest legend John Robertson, citing his "ability to just ghost past people".[61]

Conversely, as a consequence of his nimble movement, Grealish has notably been on the receiving end of heavier, more physical challenges from opposing players. Shaun Derry, his manager at Notts County, highlighted this, following fixtures against Sheffield United and Stevenage in early 2014 and called for more official protection.[62] In a 2014 match for Aston Villa against Hull City at Villa Park, a number of fouls committed against Grealish resulted in three Hull players receiving yellow cards within just a 15-minute period.[63]

Grealish wears child-sized shin pads whilst playing, in order to maintain his ability to control the ball effectively.[64] He wears his football socks rolled down due to superstition, which has led to referees warning him to pull them up.[65]

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood said in May 2015 that Grealish was learning from his friendship with his midfield partner, the experienced Joe Cole. Sherwood considers Cole a role model for Grealish's private life, as he "didn't read too much about Joe being on the front pages".[66]

Career statistics[edit]

As of match played 28 September 2018
Appearances and goals by club, season and competition
Club Season League FA Cup League Cup Other Total
Division Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals Apps Goals
Aston Villa 2011–12[67] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2012–13[68] Premier League 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2013–14[69] Premier League 1 0 0 0 1 0
2014–15[70] Premier League 17 0 6 0 1 0 24 0
2015–16[71] Premier League 16 1 2 0 3 0 21 1
2016–17[72] Championship 31 5 1 0 1 0 33 5
2017–18[73] Championship 27 3 1 0 0 0 3[a] 0 31 3
2018–19[74] Championship 10 0 0 0 1 0 11 0
Total 102 9 10 0 6 0 3 0 121 9
Notts County (loan) 2013–14[69] League One 37 5 1 0 1[b] 0 39 5
Career total 139 14 11 0 6 0 4 0 160 14
  1. ^ Appearances in Championship play-offs
  2. ^ Appearance in Football League Trophy

Honours[edit]

Aston Villa Youth

Aston Villa

England U21

Individual

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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External links[edit]