Do foreign fields beckon for Wes Hoolahan?
PUBLISHED: 05:00 24 April 2018 | UPDATED: 09:41 24 April 2018
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Wes Hoolahan’s next adventure could take him to the other side of the world as he prepares for an emotional Norwich City swansong.
The club’s reigning player-of-the-year announced on Monday he will bow out in Saturday’s Championship home finale against Leeds United, with a testimonial to follow in the next 12 months.
Hoolahan is yet to decide his next career move but is believed to be attracted by the possibility of a stint in America’s MLS or the Australian A-League.
The likes of Darren Huckerby, Robert Earnshaw, Jim Brennan and Carl Robinson all had spells Stateside in the twilight of their footballing careers upon leaving Norfolk.
Hoolahan is sure to get a rousing send off in front of an adoring public this weekend, plus a large contingent of family and friends making a special trip from Ireland.
The 35-year-old admits it will be tough to leave after 351 appearances and 53 goals in the green and yellow, during a decade-long spell that brought three promotions and four seasons in the Premier League.
“It’s been a great ten years. I’ve thoroughly enjoyed myself at this club and it’s going to be an emotional day against Leeds,” he said. “I’m looking forward to it and I’ve got a lot of family coming over and hopefully they will enjoy the day out and hopefully we’ll get the win as well.
“I spoke to my family last week and it will be great to have them over. I just want then to enjoy it because they can’t wait. It’s been amazing. Sometimes you don’t think the day will come where you leave, but the time has come and I look forward to the next challenge. It goes by so quickly.”
Team mates past and present also took to social media to hail Hoolahan’s genius.
Grant Holt changed his profile picture on his Twitter account to one of the pair in their glory days at Carrow Road, while Nathan Redmond posted a picture of the duo with the Championship play-off trophy at Wembley.
City stalwart Russell Martin wrote on his Instagram account: ‘A true legend and one of the best ever to wear the Norwich City shirt.
‘An absolute honour and a pleasure to play alongside the little magician for some long. Some footballer. Some man.
‘Been through it all together over the years on and off the pitch. Always worked so hard for his team mates on the pitch, was a positive influence off it and even better when it was time to celebrate!
‘You’ll be missed at the club. Good luck at whoever is lucky enough to have you next, mate. Thnks for everything (apart from the nutmegs at training)!’