Canaries legend has play-off aim with Cambridge after ‘amazing experience’ in Australia

Cambridge have signed Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan Picture: Cambridge United FC

Cambridge have signed Norwich City legend Wes Hoolahan Picture: Cambridge United FC - Credit: Cambridge United FC

Wes Hoolahan is hoping for another promotion campaign, after bringing an end to his ‘amazing experience’ in Australia to sign for League Two side Cambridge United.

The Irish playmaker scored 54 goals in 352 games for Norwich between 2008 and 2018 before spending a year in the Championship with West Brom.

He had initially gone on trial with Cambridge in the summer of 2019 but opted to go on an adventure Down Under and joined Newcastle Jets, only for an ankle injury in just his second match to ruin his first half of the season.

Hoolahan returned with five appearances prior to the coronavirus causing the A-League season to be suspended in March but flew home to Norfolk and didn’t return to New South Wales to completed the elongated season behind closed doors.

“It was brilliant, an amazing experience, loved every minute of it,” he said after signing for Cambridge on a one-year deal.

“It was different to what it’s like back home in England but all the lads over there were brilliant and it’s a time that I’ll never forget.”

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Which meant, a year after his initial trial with the years, that the former Republic of Ireland international knew which club to turn to.

“Being here last year and seeing the training ground and the facilities, the lads, how it works - I enjoyed it,” Hoolahan continued, speaking to his new club’s website.

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“So I thought with where I am in Norwich it’s great to get to and things like that. It’s such a fantastic club and I’m delighted to sign.”

The 38-year-old joins a couple of familiar faces in former City team-mate Mark Bunn, who is goalkeeper coach, and head of football Ben Strang, who was previously head of academy recruitment for Norwich.

He had initially been on trial under former Norwich assistant Colin Calderwood but the Scot was replaced as head coach by Mark Bonner midway through last season, which finished in 14th place.

Of his targets, Hoolahan added: “To play as many games as I can, to get up the league and the top six, make the play-offs, something like that. So hopefully that can happen, that’s the ambition of ours this year, to get promoted, and hopefully we can do that.”

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