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Villa boss O'Neill surprised at Young's international retirement

Published 13/11/2009

Aston Villa boss Martin O'Neill was surprised by Luke Young's decision to retire from international football.


By Press Association Sport staff

The Villa right-back, 30, told the Football Association last season he was no longer available for selection.

But the decision only became public this week, when he was asked about his availability ahead of tomorrow's Brazil friendly after Glen Johnson returned to Liverpool for treatment on an injury.

O'Neill told "My own personal view is that you should try to keep going for as long as you can - both at club level and international.

"However, at the end of the day, it's his decision.

"It's always up to the individual, particularly with international football.

"It's not my position to decide for people one way or the other. I do not know what has gone on before or what made him come to that decision."

The situation could be seen as positive for Villa, with there now being no risk of Young sustaining an injury on international duty.

But O'Neill said: "Am I glad? No, not really. He is still very young but ultimately I accept his decision.

"It's not like he's 33 or 34 and injury-prone like Martin Laursen, where you have to make a choice.

"It's a hard one. I do not know the reasons why Luke decided to retire in the first place.

"England will be disappointed because it was an opportunity for him.

"But you have to respect what the player wants.

"It's Luke's prerogative to do what he wants."

Belfast Telegraph

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