Ireland wants Republic return
Villa midfielder says he has no regrets
Last Updated: May 6, 2012 12:06pm
Stephen Ireland: Available for his country after international exile
Stephen Ireland has again stated he is ready to end his international exile and return to the Republic of Ireland squad.
The Aston Villa midfielder admits that he is happy to be building bridges with his home country once again after withdrawing from a Euro 2008 qualifier in controversial circumstances back in September 2007.
Ireland, 25, also insists he is not trying to jump on the Euro 2012 bandwagon and claims he would happily return if head coach Giovanni Trapattoni wanted him in his squad.
He told the Sunday Mirror: "I have said whenever anybody has asked me in the last couple of months that I am available if I am wanted.
"I am a mature person now and a family man, different to when I quit playing for my country.
"At that time I had three children under the age of five and I was only 21 myself. I've grown up now as a player and a person. If that opportunity comes again then I am all ears.
"I have had no contact from Ireland. I wish them all the best but if I was ever contacted, I would take it seriously."
Ireland has not featued for his country after he lied about the death of his grandmother, with the real reason for his departure from the squad that his girlfriend had suffered a miscarriage, and despite publically apologising, he has not been selected since.
But he insisted: "I have no regrets. I don't get jealous because those guys have earned the right to be there. I wish them well."