Jonjo Shelvey has rejected the suggestion he turned down the chance to play for the England Under-21s during this year’s European Championships.
The Swansea City midfielder was absent from Gareth Southgate’s squad for the tournament in the Czech Republic, with England manager Roy Hodgson having previously said the player was “reticent” to feature for the under-age side.
But, speaking ahead of the senior England team’s upcoming Euro 2016 qualifiers, the in-form Shelvey said: “I didn’t refuse to play for my country. I’ve always made myself available. If I didn’t my dad would have killed me to be honest.
“I think a lot of it has been rumours. I spoke to Gareth Southgate and he rang me and told me he didn’t expect me to be with them.
“I think a lot of it has been misread but I’ve never made myself unavailable for my country.
“It’s every boys dream to play for his country. I would never turn my back on my country.”
Shelvey’s solitary full international cap came against minnows San Marino in 2012.
He added: “It seems to be every time I get called up it’s against San Marino.
“I just want to get a start, hopefully I can get one then it’s just down to me to cement my place in this squad and then go back to my club and perform on a consistent basis.
“Obviously it’s down to Roy whether I get to start.
“I will play anywhere for my country, it’s an honour to be here and hopefully I can get a chance to show people what I can do.”
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