Evergreen Hoolahan still producing the goods in League Two
- Credit: Simon Lankester/Sky Bet
When Wes Hoolahan waltzed out of Carrow Road after the curtain fell on a tremendous Norwich City career, some expected it to be the last English football saw of the majestic Irish international.
Via a brief spell at West Brom, it seemed the 38-year-old was enjoying a swansong in Australia prior to hanging up his boots and enjoying retirement. In the summer, the attacking midfielder signed for League Two side Cambridge United and has cast a spell on League Two with his quality.
Managed by Mark Bonner, the U's currently find themselves sitting at the summit of the table, with Hoolahan an influential cog in their free-scoring side.
The midfielder, who turns 39 in May, is actually older than his manager but his experience is proving pivotal as Cambridge look to sustain their positive form this season. The City legend has scored four goals and recorded five assists in 20 games this season.
“It’s about knowing your body,” he told the Guardian earlier this month. “I usually won’t train until Tuesday or Wednesday. I’ll have a couple of days off where I’m just doing some stretches, get on the bike to get the legs going, taking in protein and recovery shakes – it’s a lot different now from how it was 13 years ago. But it seems to be working.”
Hoolahan left Norwich after a decade of service in 2018, signing off in style by scoring against Leeds United in his final appearance for the club. Despite many assuming he was finishing his career, the Irish international has continued to sprinkle his magic in the EFL.
His performances are being greeted by rave reviews among supporters, pundits and his fellow professionals, now his form has been rewarded with an accolade as he claims League Two's Player of the Month award for January.
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"It's been a great month," he said. "We won so many games and went through January unbeaten, so it really has been a positive month. It's certainly been nice to get the assists and a couple of goals to go with it. I'm delighted to win this award, but I couldn't have done it without any of the other lads.
"It's going really well, I'm hoping we can continue this journey and pick up plenty more points along the way.”