Hoolahan ‘excited’ ahead of West Brom debut
Former Ireland international expected to feature against Bristol City tonight
Wes Hoolahan: “I’ve had a good summer’s rest and now I am really excited about playing again. To get the opportunity to do so with a club such as this one is fantastic for me.”
Wes Hoolahan could make his West Brom debut in the Championship game against Bristol City this evening and, having signed a short term deal late last week, the Dubliner believes he can make a significant contribution to the club’s bid to bounce straight back from relegation over the coming months.
“I still feel I have plenty to offer; I retired from international football in March with the intention of kicking on and playing as many games as possible at club level,” says the 36 year-old who trained at the club while his former Ireland teammates were playing games against Wales and Poland, in the hope of earning an offer from manager Darren Moore.
“It’s been a long time since I had a trial,” he told the club’s website with a laugh, “but I am really grateful to the gaffer for the opportunity he offered me to come up and spend some time here. And it is a great opportunity for me to be back in the Championship with such a strong squad.
“I’ve had a good summer’s rest and now I am really excited about playing again. To get the opportunity to do so with a club such as this one is fantastic for me. There’s a lot of Premier League quality here and I would like to think the boys will be right in the thick of the promotion challenge,” he says.
“I feel in good shape and with plenty of football in me still. The days are gone now when players reached my age and were regarded as finished. You keep on top of things and with all the advances we benefit from now you can easily play into your late thirties.”
Hoolahan, whose deal is likely to be extended in the event that he makes a positive impact, played no part in Friday’s draw with Birmingham but would be expected to at least make the bench for Tuesday evening’s visit of Bristol City.
Callum O’Dowda will be hoping to start for the visitors after having come on last Saturday to provide the cross for Marley Watkins to score the 81st minute winner against Sheffield United.