By Nicholas Veevers
Tuesday, 16 October, 2012
It's an interesting night ahead for England defender Phil Jagielka
Phil Jagielka is in the land of his ancestors on Tuesday as England take on Poland, hoping to take another step towards World Cup qualification.
The Everton defender's grandparents are Polish and the match in Warsaw will be the first time that Jagielka has ever played in Poland, despite staying there with the England squad last summer in the Euro Finals.
And the 30-year-old admits it will be an interesting game for those members of his family watching from the sidelines whilst he goes to battle on the pitch.
He said: "My grandparents on my dad’s side were from Poland. They came over to England via Africa during the War and settled here, so it will be an interesting night.
"With the Euros being out in Poland and Ukraine, I had the opportunity to go back over there and see a bit of their culture, but I’ve never played against Poland or ever played in Poland so it will be nice to get some game time.
"You never know. but it will be a very special occasion for me to play in Poland and even better if we can get a decent result."
As a young Jagielka grew up on the outskirts of Manchester, he was always aware of his Polish ancestry and given the frequent meetings of the two nations in relatively recent years, he knows that the Three Lions can expect a hot reception in Warsaw.
"We used to play them quite regularly and I remember a couple of times we gave them a beating, but they are more of a force now," he added.
"They have some fantastic players, there are a few who play for top teams in the German League for instance. We know it’s going to be a hard game, especially out in Poland.
"But you can never expect to get an easy game at international level, no matter who you are playing."