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Monday 11 December 2017

Green of Ireland or white of England? West Ham star Anthony Scully keeps feet in both camps

No pressure on Hammers' Scully to make his choice yet

Anthony Scully
Anthony Scully

FORMER Ireland U21 and B cap Tony Scully says there's no pressure on his son, West Ham prospect Anthony Scully, to make a final decision on his international future even though England and Ireland are trying to get their grips on the midfielder.

A promising member of the youth academy with the Hammers, midfielder Anthony, 15, is very much a man in demand at the moment. On Wednesday of this week, he played for the England U16s against Slovakia in a friendly at the FA's HQ at St George's Park.

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But Ireland want him as well, as Scully has been named in Tom Mohan's Irish U17 panel for two friendly matches in Croatia next week.

The Cambridge-born youngster's ties to Ireland are as strong as could be: not only is his dad Tony from Dublin, but Cherry Orchard product Tony also wore the green shirt on a regular basis, winning two B caps and also appearing 10 times for the U21s (1994-1997).

Tony, now 38, lined out for 13 league clubs in England in his own playing career with spells at Crystal Palace, Manchester City and QPR, and played for the Republic's U21s alongside future senior stars like Shay Given, Stephen Carr and Steve Finnan, but insists he's not putting any pressure on the lad.

"He's only 15, he's at an age where he's eligible for both countries and he still has a bit of time before he has to make a decision," dad Tony told The Herald.

"I know he could now play for both Ireland and England in the space of a week but he's at a young age and all he wants to do is play football. I don't see it as a case of Ireland against England: for me, as his dad, it's a matter of him developing as a footballer and I will give him every support in whatever decision he makes.

"He has played for Ireland at U15 level, he played for England this week and, if he's picked, he will play for the Irish U17s next week in Croatia. He has enjoyed playing for Ireland, he enjoyed the experience with England this week so he is taking it all in his stride.

"He gets excellent coaching off the FAI coaches and the same with the FA, so it's all about his development as a footballer," added Scully.

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