Ipswich Town let Norwich City’s Wes Hoolahan slip through their grasp

Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan celebrates his dramatic stoppage time assist with Republic of I

Norwich City midfielder Wes Hoolahan celebrates his dramatic stoppage time assist with Republic of Ireland goalscorer Shane Long after the duo rescued a point in a Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland on Sunday. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire - Credit: PA

Norwich City's midfield magician Wes Hoolahan revealed he could have been tormenting the Canaries for bitter rivals Ipswich Town if he had impressed on a teenage trial.

Hoolahan spent time with the Blues, Sunderland, Leicester and Millwall before finally getting his big break under Paul Lambert at Livingston.

The 32-year-old has since established himself as a cult figure at Carrow Road since arriving from Blackpool in 2008, with key roles in a double promotion success to the Premier League and the latest tilt at the top flight under Alex Neil.

Hoolahan won his 17th cap for the Republic of Ireland in Sunday's 1-1 Euro 2016 qualifier against Poland back on home turf in Dublin - where he was a prodigy at Belvedere Youth Club - but doubts over the ex-Shelbourne playmaker's physique sunk his chances of an early move to England.

'At that age, when I was 13 or 14, I was very small for my age. You'd see a lot of the big players were going abroad on trials and stuff like that and I never got the opportunity until I was about 16 or 17,' he said, speaking to the Irish Independent. 'Obviously nothing happened but you just keep going and try not to think about it as much. Nobody ever said to me, 'Wesley you didn't make it at Ipswich because you were too small,' nobody has said that, people probably assumed that, they probably have said that but I don't know if it was the case.


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'I was playing every week for Shelbourne, we were in the Champions League, we had a great squad of players. It was an enjoyable time.

'Now, in this era, there are so many. You look at the Barcelona team, the Spain team, they're all very good on the ball and have good technique.'

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