Jack Grealish’s father has spoken of how playing GAA toughened Jack up for the Premiership.
Grealish played for John Mitchel’s in Birmingham as a youngster. Since then he has represented Republic of Ireland at Under 17, Under 19 and Under 21 levels but in 2016 changed his allegiance to England. He has played for England Under 21s but yet to play senior football for them although his form this season could see a call up coming soon.
Kevin Grealish told Birmingham Live: “He’d run the show playing Gaelic. It really helped him because he was knocked from pillar to post. It’s brutal compared to soccer.
“Jack, as you know, is good with his feet but you can pick the ball up as well and he’d flick it around everyone!
“I told Gordan Cowans (Aston Villa coach) that once. He asked why Jack was so good at expecting tackles and stuff and it was the GAA. It really built up his upper body, players would bounce off him. It’s probably why he’s so strong today.
“He had to stop playing at 16, though, they’d just be stamping on his fingers and it became all too much. We had Nike knocking at the door at this point as well who wanted to sponsor him.
“It was a summer sport, Gaelic, and he’d play that non-stop, he didn’t care about your crickets or rugbys.”
Jack scored a point for Warwickshire in Croke Park at half-time in the Kerry v Dublin quarter-final in 2009.