Football

Arsenal star has no international regrets

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In the midst of the debate regarding international eligibility, Carl Jenkinson has expressed how he was delighted to be given the opportunity to represent England.

The Arsenal defender has represented Finland and England at youth level but committed his international future to the Three Lions, earning his first senior cap in November 2012 in a friendly against Sweden.

Jenkinson qualifies for Roy Hodgson's side through birth and his father being English, although having a Finish mother allowed the Arsenal ace to play for the Baltic nation.

Having represented England at Under 17 level while with Charlton, Jenkinson decided to represent Finland. hoping it would benefit his fledging career, he told the Mirror: "I look back on playing for Finland as a fantastic experience. I played for England Under 17s and I was third choice at the time. I then had the opportunity to play for Finland.

"At the time I went there and was playing regularly. I was in Charlton's reserve and youth teams and playing international football and there weren't many people in my team getting the experience I was. In terms of my career at the time it was great for me."

Now part of Gareth Southgate's Under 21 side, the Arsenal man could come up against his Finish counterparts when the two sides do battle next month. Despite enjoying his time with the Finland team, Jenkinson has no regrets about his decision, and was delighted with the support he received.

He said: "I enjoyed my time there but at the same time when England came knocking, I had to follow my heart. I've always felt English at the end of the day.

"I was lucky. I have a supportive family so there weren't too many digs or trying to sway me one way or another. My mum was very supportive of my decision which was nice.

"It's weird how things work out, but it would be a nice experience for me to play against some of the Finnish lads I played with before. It would be good.

"I've got friends in the Finland team. They are in my age group so I've played with not all of them but a fair few of them. I've got quite a few friends there and I know the manager as well."

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England Football
Carl Jenkinson

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