Football

Jamie O'Hara Discusses Irish 'Regrets' As He Labels Rice 'Disrespectful'

Jamie O'Hara Discusses Irish 'Regrets' As He Labels Rice 'Disrespectful'

We can't really tell if we're loving Jamie O'Hara or not, after the ex-Spurs, Portsmouth and Wolves midfielder admitted this morning that turning down the chance to play for Ireland as a 22-year-old was a decision he would later live to 'regret'.

Ten years later, and now plying his trade with Vanarama League South side Billiricay Town, O'Hara was with talkSport earlier, where he told Max Rushden about an encounter he had with Liam Brady whilst on loan at Pompey.

"I was playing with England U21s", started O'Hara, who never won a full senior cap for the Three Lions during what was a largely unfulfilled Premier League career. "I was at Portsmouth and I was having a really good season and Liam Brady approached me."

At the time, I really fancied myself to play for England. I was up and coming, I was only 21, I was involved with the England team, so I turned them down. It's probably one of the ones I regret actually because I have a big Irish family and it was a big opportunity to play for the national side.

O'Hara felt that he would always get the chance to represent England and even fobbed off a suggestion from then club gaffer Mick McCarthy to get back in touch with the FAI when he moved to Wolves in 2011.

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On Declan Rice's decision to turn his back on the green jersey, O'Hara says he can understand the reasons behind the West Ham youngster choosing to play for the country of his birth, but questions the way the youngster went about things.

It's a difficult one. I can see where Declan Rice is coming from. It's the other way round. He's coming back to play for England. I'm not sure if it's a little bit disrespectful.

For a career wise, I wish I'd gone to play for Ireland. I might have played four or five games for them.

No good scoring points with us now, Jamie! You turned us down twice!!!

Thrice capped Rice released a statement yesterday afternoon, confirming after months of conjecture, that he would be switching international allegiances to England.

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Aaron Strain

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