Jonjo Shelvey‘s fine start to the 2015-16 season continued at the weekend as the Swansea City midfield played the full 90 minutes as Englan secured qualification to the 2016 European Championships by beating San Marino.
Shelvey, 23, was making his return to England for the first time in three years and put in a faultless display against San Marino in one of the bright spots during a routine 6-0 win against the European minnows.
The former Charlton Athletic and Liverpool midfielder has shone for the Swans during their ascent up the Premier League standings over the past 12 months and the man from Romford has seen his slick passing and ability to smash goals in from long-distance become a key part of the South Wales sides’ success.
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Asked by reporters afterwards if his family were in the stands in the tiny sovereign state of San Marino on the east coast of Italy, Shelvey said his Mom and sister had traveled to Venice to see the sights and he spotted them in the crowd during the national anthem, his Mom with tears in her eyes.
But what about Jonjo’s father? Ah, he was down the pub back in England.
“My dad didn’t make it. He was in the pub with his mates, drinking and watching the game,” Shelvey said. “I don’t blame him. I spoke to him afterwards and he was made up. Only a brief conversation. He criticized my long passing. He’s a coach and he’s got his own club, Harold Hill FC, Under 6s to Under 14s, so he’s got some experience. He was still sober when I spoke to him. He can drink 26 pints and not feel it.”
26 pints of beer and still sober!? My word, that has to be some kind of record.
Many, including England manager Roy Hodgson, were full or praise for Shelvey’s display against San Marino and the way he is improving his play week in, week out in the PL. As long as Shelvey doesn’t decide to follow in the footsteps of his old man and start downing 26 pints of beer down during a “session” down the pub anytime soon, the soft-spoken boy from Essex has a bright future for club and country.
Shelvey also revealed that making Hodgson’s final 23-man squad for the Euro’s in France next summer would be a dream come true, and if he does make the final cut, his Dad might even make the trip across the English Channel.
“It would mean the world for me to get picked to go and play in France. As a boy, it’s your dream to play for England in any game, never mind a major tournament, so it would mean everything,” Shelvey explained. “Even my Dad would come to France. It’s not as far as it is here, so he’d probably just jump on the Eurostar or something.”