Glenn Whelan joins League One Fleetwood Town

Midfielder bidding to keep Ireland hopes alive after being released by Hearts

Glenn Whelan has joined Fleetwood Town until the end of the season. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Glenn Whelan has joined Fleetwood Town until the end of the season. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Republic of Ireland midfielder Glenn Whelan has joined League One side Fleetwood Town until the end of the season, in a move which will see him play under the stewardship of Joey Barton.

36-year-old Whelan was a free agent after he was recently released by Heart of Midlothian earlier after an ill-fated four-month stint in Edinburgh.

Fleetwood are currently in 11th place in League One - four points off the play-offs - and Whelan is hoping his switch to Highbury Stadium will keep his international ambitions alive.

Speaking on his move, he said: “If I’m not playing, and I’m not playing well, then I’ve no chance internationally,” Whelan told the club’s website.

“Even though [the Slovakia play-off] is in March, it’s about staying fit and healthy and please God getting a few results to keep myself in contention.”

Meanwhile former Newcastle United, QPR, Marseille and Burnley midfielder Barton has expressed his delight at the capture of Whelan, who has 91 international caps to his name.

He said: “When the opportunity arose to bring someone of Glenn’s experience in to our squad, we moved quickly to get the deal done,” he said.

“Glenn is hungry to play and we’re sure that he will bring the qualities that everyone knows he is capable of into our group.

“We lost some experience in this window with Peter Clarke leaving to join Tranmere, so to bring someone in like Glenn who has been the captain of his country, is really important for our squad.

“This is an exciting signing for the club, and we look forward to seeing him in action.”

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