Birmingham defender Alex Bruce, son of Blues manager Steve, has received his first call-up to the Republic of Ireland Under-21 squad.
The 21-year-old, who three times has rejected approaches from Northern Ireland, has been picked in the 18-man squad to play Sweden in a friendly on Tuesday in Drogheda.
“He was fortunate that both respective countries wanted him and he has decided to choose the Republic,” said dad Steve, who as a player turned down former Republic boss Jack Charlton because the UEFA ruling on foreign players would have made things difficult at Manchester United.
Bruce added on Birmingham’s club website, www.bcfc.com: “With his grandparents being Irish he thought ‘Why not?’ It’s genuine that both sides of our family are Irish.”
Bruce joins Birmingham team-mates Marcos Painter and goalkeeper Colin Doyle, currently on loan at Millwall, in the under-21 squad.
Squad: D Quigley (UCD), C Doyle (Birmingham); K Foley (Luton), P McShane (Brighton), M Painter (Birmingham), A Bruce (Birmingham), R Keogh (Bristol City), JHand (Huddersfield), W Flood (Man City), G Dicker (UCD), D Potter (Southampton), G Whelan (Sheff Wed), M Timlin (Fulham), R O’Donovan (Cork City), J Tabb (Brentford), S Ward (Bohemians), A Keogh (Scunthorpe), L Best (Sheff Wed).