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Dublin: 12 °C Friday 22 February, 2019
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He's back! Wes Hoolahan signs short-term deal with WBA

The former Republic of Ireland international was a free agent following his decision to leave Norwich City at the end of last season.

Wes Hoolahan signs a short-term deal with West Brom.
Wes Hoolahan signs a short-term deal with West Brom.
Image: WBA Official Website

Updated at 21.23

WES HOOLAHAN HAS returned to club football after signing a short-term deal with Championship side West Bromwich Albion.

The 36-year-old has been a free agent since leaving Norwich at the end of last season. Hoolahan had trained with WBA during the international break resulting in him being offered a deal with an option to stay on until January.

“In the end, it wasn’t a difficult decision because Wes’s quality was there for all to see and he brings great experience and greater options to our group,” said WBA boss, Darren Moore.

We had a look at him over three or four days. He is a great pro and I think everyone knows the quality he possesses. He gives us more depth and fantastic experience.

“The agreement is short term but there is the potential for Wes to stay longer if things work out. I’m delighted to get him here.

“We’ve got seven games in 21 days in October and we are going to have to manage the squad to cope with the demands of that schedule. Every single player will be important to us.”

The former Republic of Ireland international made 122 appearances for club and country over the last three campaigns and has been sorely missed within the Irish set-up since his departure in February.

Wes Hoolahan Wes Hoolahan in action for the Republic of Ireland during their World Cup play-off against Denmark. Source: Morgan Treacy/INPHO

Moore insisted he had no issues with Hoolahan’s fitness or ability to add to the team and said that thinking “needs to change” regarding attitudes to signing older players.

“I know that when people hear about players arriving in their mid-30s they have a perception of that player being past their best.

“I know what it’s like to play into my mid-30s and the areas of sports science and medicine have developed even further since my day.

“I can tell you these guys now in their mid-30s are in great shape and can still handle the physicality.

I’ve got no concerns about Wes on that score. He will get even better with game time but in terms of his general fitness he has satisfied all our demands.”

West Brom take on rivals Birmingham City on Friday night in the Championship, where kick-off at St. Andrew’s is 7.45pm.

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