Hoolahan shortlisted for top Irish award, will Trapattoni finally take the hint?
Norwich City's attacking midfielder Wes Hoolahan was yesterday shortlisted for the Professional Footballers' Association of Ireland overseas player-of-the-year – even though he can't get into the Irish international squad.
Hoolahan is up against Aston Villa's Richard Dunne and West Brom's Shane Long for the prestigious award which will be announced this weekend at the Irish PFA's annual dinner to coincide with the end of the domestic league season in Ireland.
The 29-year-old Dubliner helped Paul Lambert's men clinch promotion from the Championship last season and has continued to impress during Norwich's Premier League return.
Hoolahan's consistent displays have so far failed to win a recall to the Republic of Ireland's international squad. Italian boss Giovanni Trapattoni handed Hoolahan his senior international debut back in May 2008, but the playmaker has yet to add to his solitary cap in a friendly win over Colombia.
Trapattoni's assistant boss Marco Tardelli was at Carrow Road in September where he saw both Hoolahan and Long feature in West Brom's 1-0 Premier League win.
Both Long and Dunne have been included in the Republic's squad for the upcoming Euro2012 qualifying play-off ties against Estonia.
With first choice striker Kevin Doyle suspended Trapattoni is still awaiting news of Newcastle striker Leon Best, who is due to undergo a scan on a groin injury on Tyneside before a decision is taken on whether or not he will join up with the rest of the squad.