English-Born Fullback Matty Cash Gets Surprise Call-Up From Different Country For Next Week's International Break

The Aston Villa Right Back will likely make his international debut in a few days, but just not for the country he was born in.

It's not uncommon for England-born footballers to represent other countries. The Republic of Ireland, Scotland, and Jamaica are just a few of the national sides with a decent proportion of English natives in their squads.

But a player from the outskirts of London suiting up for Poland? Now that's a new one. Yet that's exactly what happened to Matty Cash, who earned his first Poland call-up this week. Is Matty Cash Polish?

Born in Slough, a town on the western outskirts of London, Cash is eligible to play for Poland through his mother, whose grandparents emigrated to England during World War II.

Cash has played his entire career in England, beginning professionally at Nottingham Forest in 2016 before earning a move to Premier League side Aston Villa in 2020.

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Even after an impressive first season in the English top-flight, Cash was well down the England depth chart at right back, stuck behind the likes of Trent Alexander-Arnold, Kieran Trippier, Kyle Walker, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka.

Yet Poland's interest in Cash came even before he was in the Premier League. After finding out about the fullback's family background, then-Poland manager Jerzy Brzęczek sent scouts to watch Cash during the fall of 2019 when the 22-year-old was in the EFL Championship with Nottingham Forest.

Reports even said that Cash was in Brzęczek's plans for Poland's upcoming Euro 2020 campaign, as Poland needed a fullback following Łukasz Piszczek's retirement from international football that year.

"There's been contact with my agent about playing for Poland and it's something that I would look at," Cash said in 2019. "I just have to keep playing well and keep progressing before I make any decision. It's nice to have an option."

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But only in the last few months have the pieces finally fallen in place for Matty Cash to become a Polish international. Cash applied for a Polish passport in Sept. 2021, and his citizenship application was approved on Oct. 26th. Six days later, the 24-year-old Aston Villa man was named in the Poland squad for the upcoming international break.

"This is a very important day for me and my family,” Cash said. “My application for Polish citizenship has been approved by the Polish authorities. I would like to thank the president, my family and other people who helped me in this. Time for new challenges, I will do my best for this country."

Cash has been a solid option once again at the back for Aston Villa this season and could immediately slot into the Polish lineup for World Cup qualifying fixtures against Andorra and Hungary.

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