Sunday 24 February 2019

Hoolahan heads for Canaries exit

Wes Hoolahan. Pic: Getty
Wes Hoolahan. Pic: Getty

Wes Hoolahan says he's ready for his next challenge after it was confirmed he would leave Norwich City at the end of this season.

Hoolahan, who turns 36 next month, announced his retirement from international football earlier this season and while it's likely that he will carry on at club level, the former Shelbourne star will not be at Norwich.

He leaves Carrow Road with a lot of goodwill, having spent ten years there and is due a testimonial, but he will be moving on.

"I'm looking forward to my next challenge, and to organising a testimonial for next year. I've had a brilliant time," said Hoolahan, who joined the Canaries from Blackpool in 2008 and played a part in their rise from the third tier to the Premier League.

"It's been a great 10 years at this club. The fans have been amazing to me, the club have been great and I'm going to miss the place.

"I've thoroughly enjoyed myself at Norwich City and it's going to be an emotional day on Saturday against Leeds. I just want to say to the fans thanks for the support, you've been amazing throughout my whole time here."

Hoolahan played under 10 managers, including caretakers, in his time at the club but current boss Daniel Farke feels that the Belvedere product has earned legendary status.

"I feel really blessed and thankful to have been his coach. It's been a big pleasure to work with Wes, not only because of his ability but also because of his personality and character," Farke said.

"I've made it clear before just how much I would have appreciated working with him when he was 26, because he's an unbelievable player.

"He's a club legend already, and we know he will be even more of a legend in the future."

Speaking to The Herald in February when he announced his international retirement, Hoolahan said he was unsure of his next move.

"I'm 36 in May so we'll see what happens, I don't know how long I can play on for. A lot depends on the mind and I feel sharp, I feel good, I feel as fit as ever and if you want to do it, it's up to you, but I think I have some good years left in me," he said.

"I know that some of the lads have gone back to work with the Ireland underage teams but I don't know what I will do, a few lads at Norwich are doing their UEFA B and I have joined that course, just to get started but I don't know what I want to do."

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