Chelsea defender Cahill happy he turned down Ireland

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is happy he turned down the Republic of Ireland.

Chelsea defender Gary Cahill is happy he turned down the Republic of Ireland.

England international Cahill is poised to partner Chelsea team-mate John Terry and provide a solid base as Roy Hodgson’s outfit kick off their tournament in Ukraine against Laurent Blanc’s men.

Cahill – who qualified thanks to his Irish grandad – was approached to play for Eire when Steve Staunton was in the hot seat.

“I saw him when I was ­playing for the reserves and then I started to get more and more first-team games.

“He knew Kevin McDonald, who was his Ireland No.2 and he was our reserve team coach at Villa.

“When I made the first team he kept coming to watch me play.

“He asked me if I would like to play for Ireland when I was 20 – but it just didn’t feel right at all.

“The link comes from my grandfather, who was Irish – but he died before I really got to know him so I’ve only known my ­family as ­being English really.

“Also it would have felt odd ­because I’d ­already played for England Under-20s and Under-21s and so I thought that I might one day get that chance to play for the full national side.”

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