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Dublin: 12 °C Wednesday 21 August, 2019
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Glenn Whelan signs for Hearts as Ireland midfield prepares for new challenge in Scotland

The 35-year-old will continue his career in the Scottish Premiership after being released by Aston Villa in June.

Whelan in action against Georgia during a Euro 2020 qualifier in March.
Whelan in action against Georgia during a Euro 2020 qualifier in March.
Image: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

IRELAND INTERNATIONAL GLENN Whelan will continue his career in Scotland after completing a move to Hearts on Wednesday afternoon.

The 35-year-old, who made 35 appearances last season as Aston Villa secured promotion back to the Premier League, was released at the start of June having spent two years with the club.

Signing as a free agent Whelan today completed a deal which will keep him at Tynecastle Park until 2020, adding depth and experience to Craig Levein’s midfield.

The Dubliner began his career at Manchester City, before enjoying stays with Sheffield Wednesday and Stoke City, where Whelan spent nine consecutive seasons in the Premier League with the Potters.

“Once I knew Hearts were involved then it was something that I really had to think about,” he said. “The manager’s been great, he’s given me a lot of time to think about things but for the last week or so I’ve been ready to go.

“The manager has been crucial to getting me up here, to be honest. He’s shown a lot of ambition in where he wants the club to go.

“I came up and trained with the lads for a couple of days last week and I was really impressed. I’m up here now and I’m ready to go to dig in and get some results.

EB8GgQNW4AE45RU Whelan completed a one-year deal with the Scottish Premiership side on Wednesday.

“I’ve managed to train for the last couple of days with the lads, got the meet-and-greet out of the way. But I’m delighted to get everything sorted out now.”

A mainstay in midfield over the last decade, Whelan has made 86 appearances for his country since 2008. He started for Mick McCarthy’s side during March’s 1-0 Euro 2020 qualifying win over Georgia.

He also played 90 minutes in a 1-1 draw with Denmark in Copenhagen, a result which sees Ireland currently sit top of  Group D ahead of next month’s crucial qualifier meeting with Switzerland at the Aviva Stadium on 5 September.

“I’ve been successful throughout my career. I’m here now and I’m trying to achieve something as well,” Whelan added. “The manager’s spoken about trying to get into Europe and pushing on as high as we can.

“I’m not just up here to enjoy myself, I’m here to achieve something. I’m looking to do that with Hearts, a massive club in Scotland and in the Scottish Premiership.

“Everywhere I’ve went and throughout my career I’ve always achieved what I’ve wanted. Like I said, I’m not up here for a jolly up or a holiday, I’m up here to improve players, if I can, and to win games.”

The42 Rugby Weekly is back as we get ready for next month’s World Cup. Murray, Gavan and Bernard Jackman get us started by looking ahead to this weekend’s opening warm-up game against Italy.


Source: The42 Rugby Weekly/SoundCloud

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Aaron Gallagher

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