'We've been through a lot together' - Former skipper thrilled to share special Canaries return with Hoolahan
(c) 2018 Archant Norfolk Prospect House Rouen Road Norwich
Russell Martin is already looking forward to saying a proper farewell to the Norwich City faithful, alongside former team-mate Wes Hoolahan at Carrow Road next year.
The Canaries have announced a special celebration match will be held to mark the long service of the duo, following the end of their playing days at the club earlier in the year.
Irish playmaker Hoolahan was released at the end of his contract and is currently at West Brom until January, while former City skipper Martin is playing in League One with Walsall.
“He’s a little genius really isn’t he, can still do a job now and that’s why West Brom have taken a punt on him,” Martin said of his former team-mate, who was with Norwich for 10 years.
“He hasn’t played as much as he would have liked but he’s a brilliant footballer and a brilliant person, I’m pleased to be sharing this game with him as well. We’ve been through a lot together on and off the pitch, he’s a great friend and a great team-mate.”
The game will be held on the Bank Holiday of Monday, May 6, the day after Daniel Farke’s team complete their fixtures at Aston Villa – teeing up the chance of an almighty promotion party, should the Canaries stay in the mix.
“I’m looking forward to it already,” Martin added. “Hopefully it will be a party atmosphere for everyone, particularly if the team carry on doing what they’re doing at the moment.
“So it’s been great to watch from afar and hopefully it’ll be an event for everyone to come and have a bit of a party – that would top it all of.”
Attentions are straight back to Walsall for the Scotland international defender though, with an FA Cup second round replay at Sunderland tonight, with a trip to Bolton up for grabs.
“I’m enjoying playing again, really enjoying it. Obviously it’s different to what I’ve been used to for however long,” Martin continued. “It was just working out that balance between playing and coaching, which I’ve got now.
“The manager (Dean Keates) is a really good guy, someone that I get on really well with, they’re a good set of lads actually, really good. They’re quite a young group so it’s a bit up and down, but it a real tight league, we’re only five points off the play-offs.”
Tickets for the Carrow Road celebration game go on sale today, with a variety of charities set to benefit from the proceeds.