Wes Hoolahan has brushed off concerns over his age and fitness, adamant he still has a lot to offer when he turns out for Newcastle Jets in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Season.
The former Republic of Ireland international has fulfilled a long-standing quest to play outside of the UK after signing a one-year deal with the Jets on Friday.
While Hoolahan brings experience from playing more than a decade in England’s Premier League and Championship, he made just a handful of appearances with West Bromwich Albion last season.
And at 37 he’s also the oldest player in Ernie Merrick’s squad for the upcoming campaign.
“I like looking after myself. For me, age is only a number,” Hoolahan told reporters after his unveiling on Friday.
“If you look after yourself and you have the belief and the spirit, then you will do well.
“Hopefully I can show everyone I can still do it.”
While the critics may say Hoolahan’s age will count against him in the demanding Hyundai A-League, there’s no doubting the Irishman’s pedigree.
He scored over 50 goals and registered many more assists in over 300 appearances for Norwich City between 2008 and 2018.
With ingenuity from midfield an area Merrick has been desperate to strengthen this pre-season, Hoolahan is confident he can fit the mould.
“I’m hoping to bring some creativity, getting on the ball and my experience obviously,” the 43-cap Ireland international said.
“I played in the Premier League and Championship over in England, hopefully I can bring that experience across.
“It’s a different opportunity to play somewhere abroad. It was something that I’d like to experience and I’m grateful the Newcastle Jets have given me the opportunity.”
Hoolahan could make his Jets debut in the club’s FFA Cup 2019 Round of 16 clash in the local derby against Northern NSW NPL leaders Edgeworth Eagles on Wednesday, August 21.