A-League

Wes Hoolahan to play A-League football for Jets

Wes Hoolahan has been dubbed ‘the Irish Messi’ by his new club.

Wes Hoolahan has been dubbed ‘the Irish Messi’ by his new club.

Gifted Irish football star Wes Hoolahan has signed a one year deal with Newcastle Jets after personal terms were agreed with the A-League club this week.

The 37-year-old said he was happy to have signed on to play for the Jets.

“It’s always been a dream of mine to play abroad and I’m delighted that I’ll be playing in Newcastle this season,” Hoolahan said.

“There are some quality players throughout the league and I’m looking forward to testing myself in a new environment.

“I’m really excited to be in Australia, it’s an entirely new challenge for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Jets boss, Ernie Merrick was pleased to have secured the signature of the experienced midfielder.

“Wes is a great get for us, he’s keen to come out and play in the Hyundai A-League and we’re confident he can bring a lot to the side,” Merrick said.

“He’s an attacking-minded midfielder who will fit seamlessly into the style of football we like to play, his passing range is superb and he’s great with the ball at his feet.

“Wes’ experience will be invaluable to us, from all reports he’s a model professional and the type of player that our younger guys will learn a lot from.”

Hoolahan will wear the number 8 in Newcastle.

The playmaker heads Down Under after a 10-game spell in the Championship with West Bromwich Albion last season, and via a recent pre-season training stint with League Two's Cambridge United.

Former Republic of Ireland international Hoolahan made a name for himself during a 10-year period at Norwich, where he scored 54 goals and made 78 assists in 351 appearances, including four seasons in the English Premier League.

The Shelbourne junior has gathered 43 caps and three goals for his nation - scoring a memorable goal against Sweden at Euro 2016 in France.

He joins Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh and Brisbane Roar’s irish duo of Roy O’Donovan and Jay O’Shea as the A-League’s Irish cohort.