Thursday 27 October 2016

Whelan rewarded with new Stoke deal

Glenn Whelan. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Glenn Whelan. Picture: David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Stoke City boss Mark Hughes has hailed the contribution of the "written off" Ireland international Glenn Whelan after the Dubliner signed a new contract with the club.

Whelan (32) will stay on at Stoke until at least 2018 following a contract extension which was agreed yesterday, a deal which will extend his time there to 10 years.

"Glenn's been here for a long time, even before my time, and he has been written off on numerous occasions and people were saying he is the next one to be replaced," says Hughes.

"But he continues to effect games and he has said himself since there has been a change in attitude and approach to games. I think he has prospered even more because he has been able to show people he is a good football player. An intelligent football player knows what he needs to do to affect the game in the right manner and he's been doing that for a long time, certainly since I have been here."

Meanwhile, team-mate Marc Wilson has spoken of his pain on missing out on Euro 2016 due to injury.

Wilson is back in pre-season training with Stoke, the Antrim native close to full fitness again after a knee problem forced him to miss the end of the Premier League season and also the European Championship finals in France.

"I had been in the squad right from the get-go so it was heart-breaking for me to be honest - I love being part of the Ireland squad," Wilson says.

"They have a great spirit in the dressing room which everybody saw during the competition over in France. I would have loved to have been there and be a part of it, but it wasn't to be and now I just have to look to the future," added Wilson, keen to impress in the coming Premier League season.

"I just want to get myself fit and ready for the new season and put all of my injuries behind me now.

"From the moment I got the injury I was trying to get back, and at the end of the season I spoke to Mark Hughes, who is a good manager and a very good guy too, and I told him that I still want to play a part here and I know what I need to do. I just want to make sure the next couple of weeks go well."

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