'The A League might suit him more than the MLS' - Huckerby feels Hoolahan is leaving Canaries at the right time
PUBLISHED: 10:18 26 April 2018 | UPDATED: 10:32 26 April 2018
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Darren Huckerby feels Wes Hoolahan is leaving Norwich City at the right time but has warned the MLS would not be an easy place for the Irishman to wind down his career.
The Canaries legend joined San Jose Earthquakes when his time with City came to an end in 2008, prompting the start of Hoolahan’s decade at Carrow Road.
The winger enjoyed a brilliant debut season in Major League Soccer in the USA, winning the 2008 MLS Newcomer of the Year after six goals and four assists in 14 games.
As Hoolahan prepares for his final game in Canaries colours on Saturday it looks like the MLS or the A League in Australia could be his next destination.
“To be honest I think probably the A League might suit him more than the MLS,” Huckerby said, featuring as a special guest on this week’s Pink Un Show. “He’s nearly 36 now and he’s never been the quickest or strongest, the MLS has a lot of athletes, so the A League may suit him more – but he’ll probably want to go and live in California!
“Wes has got good enough ability that he’ll go and fit in anywhere but he isn’t getting any younger and it does get a lot harder as you’re getting older.
“I was 32, so I knew I had a couple of years left and that’s what I decided to do, I knew I could still run and move.
“Whatever Wes decides to do he’ll make the right choice because he’s that kind of lad, he just gets on with it.”
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Despite describing the former Republic of Ireland playmaker as “by far the best player I’ve seen at Norwich City”, Huckerby thinks Hoolahan’s exit is coming at the right time.
“Knowing the type of person he is, he’s been in and out of the team this season, he’s not been guaranteed a start, so he’ll probably want to play,” he added.
“He’ll know he’s got one or two seasons left at the most. So he’ll want to go and play and if he can go and get football in the sunshine, somewhere to show people what he can do, I think that’ll be better for him than staying here for another year and playing five or 10 games.
“Then you might forget how special he was, you don’t want to outstay your welcome.”
Hoolahan will make his 352nd and final City appearance during Saturday’s final Carrow Road game of the campaign, against Leeds, to leave him tied in 16th in the club’s all-time appearances list.
After 10 years as a Canaries star, the 35-year-old’s contract will not be renewed this summer but a testimonial will follow in the future.
“There will be excitement but also you can go there and not be in that cauldron all the time, not have the pressure on you, you can chill out a little bit and enjoy your life,” Huckerby added, of a potential move abroad.
“He’s got a family and they may want to just enjoy the last couple of years where it’s not pressure, pressure, pressure all the time and enjoy his football.
“So I think it’s a good move for him to go abroad.”
• You can watch this week’s Pink Un Show above