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Hoolahan relishing starring role in Canaries’ top-flight ambitions

| 15.09.2015

Now showcasing his creative talents on the Premier League platform, Wes Hoolahan is proving exactly why Republic of Ireland fans are endlessly keen to see his name appear in their nation’s starting line-up for every passing fixture.

During the weekend’s action, the Dubliner starred for Norwich City in a 3-1 victory over former Championship rivals and fellow promoted outfit Bournemouth, superbly gifting Cameron Jerome with the chance to open proceedings before netting the second himself.

Hoolahan was at his freeflowing best, producing one his most memorable club performances to date, gracefully nutmegging Cherries defender Steve Cook to set up Jerome and sumptuously striking the second from the edge of the box. The Canaries are now 9/4 with Coral to go down this term.

Soccer - Sky Bet Championship - Norwich City v Nottingham Forest - Carrow Road

The 33-year-old Irish playmaker’s cross for the opener, which he provided while grasping his shinpad that had come loose, took his season assist tally level with Manchester City creative genius David Silva on four.

Hoolahan was evidently delighted at such a potent performance, after being given the freedom to express himself in that pivotal creative role, a position he relishes.

“It was a good performance,” the modest Irishman stated. “Especially the first goal, getting down the line and getting a little touch on it set us up nicely for the day.”

The Canaries’ creative spark carried previous international momentum back to his club duties, having starred alongside Norwich teammate Robbie Brady for Martin O’Neill’s Boys in Green during Euro 2016 qualifying wins over the Faroe Islands and Georgia.

Hoolahan was constantly overlooked by former Irish boss Giovanni Trapattoni during his reign, but since the arrival of O’Neill, the Dubliner has been utilised more regularly, though has only recently begun to perform to his utmost ability in green.

Soccer - UEFA European Championship Qualifying - Group D - Republic of Ireland v Georgia - Aviva Stadium

Being deployed in a relished attacking midfield position, the Carrow Road star is proving wrong any doubts that were cast on him regarding his ability to perform at the highest level, something his weekend strike supported.

“Any goal is great to score, especially in front of the home fans here,” Hoolahan added. “It’s nice when you know you’ve played well.

“They’re very good to you here, the fans are great and it was great to get a win here.

“Their attitude has always been good to me and my attitude has always been good to them.”

The talented Irish playmaker has long been recognised by passionate followers as his country’s answer to Silva within the Spain set-up; left-footed, slight in stature and blessed with an incredible eye for that decisive, defence-splitting pass.

This season could be a big one for the veteran Canaries attacker, as he aims to help guide Ireland to Euro 2016 and oversee Norwich retain their top tier status under Alex Neil, a feat which they are odds-on 1/4 to achieve. Though, with Hoolahan in flying form, both are easily within reach.



Lee Gormley

Lee joined the Coral team in 2014 after studying at Leeds Trinity University, having moved across the water from Ireland, and has plenty of industry experience from his time with various news outlets in both England and Northern Ireland. After graduating with a BA Honours degree in Sports Journalism, he has since become an important member of the talented sports desk, passionately covering boxing, football and snooker, among many other sports. Lee is also a massive Manchester United and Republic of Ireland fan, but curbs any bias during his work, and outside of his job can be found regularly taking part in sport himself, such as boxing, GAA and football.