English media reports say Bolton Wanderers left back Jack Iredale is at the centre of a tug-of-war between Australia’s Socceroos and New Zealand’s All Whites.
Scottish-born Iredale (27) has made an impressive start to the England League One season, starting in Wanderers’ opening four league games and scoring once.
Football writer Alan Nixon reports he’s being tracked by both international teams, as he’s eligible to play for both.
Main photo: Jack Iredale … started playing football as a junior in the Waikato.
Iredale moved to New Zealand when he was a baby, and lived in Hamilton till he was 10, taking up football as a Waikato junior at the age of six.
His father, Paul, played schoolboy rugby for England, and his mother, Fiona, represented New Zealand in judo at the 2000 Sydney Olympics.
Though he was encouraged to play rugby, Iredale’s schoolmates introduced him to football.
‘I was half-decent and just stuck at it’
“There were six of us at lunchtime that would just play football — everyone else had a rugby ball,” he told England’s Cambridge Independent.
“I went home one day, aged six, and said to my mum that the local team was having soccer try-outs and I wanted to go and play.
“My mum had no idea that I played, she just thought I would be useless at it really but I wanted to play football and she wasn’t going to stop that, so she took me down.
“I was half-decent, and from then on, I just stuck at it.”
Iredale moved to Perth when he was 10, and he joined ECU Joondalup and then Perth Glory, progressing into their U-23 squad, and he played one game for the Australia U-17 side.
Socceroos to face All Whites in October
Football site The RealEFL reports that Australia head coach Graham Arnold will attend a Wanderers’ game soon to watch Iredale ahead of a potential first call-up to the Socceroos who play New Zealand in a friendly on Tuesday October 17 in London.
Iredale’s professional career has taken him to Scottish clubs Greenock Morton and Queen’s Park (loan), and English clubs Carlisle United and Cambridge United.
He’s struggled with injuries, having had three anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) injuries between the ages of 15 and 18, and having spent four months sidelined last year with a knee injury that required surgery.