Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Anton Rodgers set to switch his allegiance from Republic

Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers has revealed that Gerry Armstrong has been in contact with him with a view to convincing his son Anton to switch allegiance from the Republic to Northern Ireland.

Former Chelsea midfielder Anton, 18, currently plays for Brighton and has represented the Republic at Under-17 and Under-19 level.

He was on stand-by for Paul Doolin's squad for last summer's European Under-19 Championships in Romania.

Armstrong is employed by the IFA to try and stop their young players following in the footsteps of Darron Gibson, James McClean and Shane Duffy by linking up with the Republic.

"That is not something that can't be rectified," said Rodgers. "I spoke with Gerry Armstrong recently as I'm a big advocate of Northern Ireland.

"I want to see Northern Ireland boys play for Northern Ireland and the reason my son is playing for the Republic is simple - they asked him while he was never asked to play for Northern Ireland.

"I've been speaking to Gerry and I think he's planning to go to Brighton to speak to him. Northern Ireland is a small country but we have a lot of talented players - we just have to look at how we can keep things moving forward."

Anton is eligible to play for England through birth, Northern Ireland through parentage, or the Republic of Ireland under EU rulings.

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