Theo Wharton has put his Wales ambitions to bed by committing his international future to St Kitts & Nevis.
The 22-year-old Cardiff City midfielder is the son of former Cwmbran Town player and manager Sean Wharton and godson of ex-Wales international Nathan Blake.
Wharton has represented Wales at under-17, under-19 and under-21 level but he’s now pledged his allegiance to the West Indies islands where his paternal grandparents were born.
Wharton was involved in Geraint Williams’ Wales under-21s squad in the recent unsuccessful Euro 2017 qualifying campaign alongside Newport’s Ellis Harrison and Lee Evans, former Newport County teenager Regan Poole and current loan star Josh Sheehan.
But he made his debut for the Sugar Boyz senior team in their recent 2-0 home defeat to Haiti and he has no regrets according to his father Sean.
Wharton senior said: “Theo’s had some indifferent experiences with the Wales under-21s and when this opportunity came about he decided to take it.
“He’s been honoured to represent Wales but he’s his own man and he wanted to take this opportunity rather than wait for something that may never happen [with Wales].
“I’m very proud to see him playing for the country of my parents Muriel and Sonny and he had a fantastic life experience out there.
“He got to play 120 minutes in a competitive game in 30 degree heat and the feedback from the manager has been superb so he’s very happy.”
Wharton was handed his Bluebirds debut by boss Malky Mackay in an FA Cup game against West Bromwich Albion in 2012 but, despite impressing in the development side, his first team opportunities have been limited.
On his son’s club future, Wharton added: “His ultimate goals is to break into the Cardiff first team but he is hoping to go out on loan.”
Asked about the possibility of a spell at Newport County AFC, he said: “Theo is mates with Jazzi Barnum-Bobb and Rhys Healey and I know Deji Oshilaja and Tommy O’Sullivan have gone there as well [from Cardiff].
“Newport are going well at the moment but I don’t know what the situation is. We’ll wait and see what happens.”