Whaley's unhappy spell with Norwich City draws to a close

Out-of-favour winger Simon Whaley left Norwich City yesterday on an otherwise quiet final day of the January transfer window. The 24-year-old's two-year contract was cancelled by mutual consent with immediate effect.

Out-of-favour winger Simon Whaley left Norwich City yesterday on an otherwise quiet final day of the January transfer window.

The 24-year-old's two-year contract was cancelled by mutual consent with immediate effect.

Whaley had only recently returned from loan spells at Rochdale and Bradford and was deemed surplus to requirements following the arrival of Swindon wideman Anthony McNamee on a permanent deal.

Whaley was signed by Bryan Gunn from Preston during the close season for an undisclosed fee, with the former City boss predicting great things for the winger.


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"Players in the wide areas have been hero-worshipped, which is something I said to Simon - Lee Croft recently, Huckerby, Adams, Fox, Gordon,"said Gunn as Whaley was paraded alongside fellow new-boys Rhoys Wiggins and BenAlnwick.

"That was one of the attractions for Simon. If he can hit it off with the fans, he will be worshipped."

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Sadly that's not the way it turned out. Whaley did well enough in pre-season, scoring in the wins against Crystal Palace and Wigan, but like many of his colleagues had a nightmare afternoon in the opening day humiliation against Colchester.

The former Bury trainee played in the next two League One fixtures againstExeter and Brentford, as well as the Carling Cup tie at Yeovil, but failed to make PaulLambert's first starting eleven.

He featured in the cup ties against Sunderland and Brentford, but it quickly became obvious that he was not rated by his new manager and a loan switch to Rochdale soon followed.

Whaley still had around 18 months of his Norwich contract to run so it is unlikely he would have left without a proportion of the money he was due. Couple that with the fee City paid Preston for his services back in July and the club have ended up forking out a considerable sum for a man who made just six appearances.

The player is now a free agent and will be looking for a new club.

Meanwhile City's creative midfielder Wes Hoolahan was the subject of deadline day speculation linking him with a surprise �2.5m Premiership switch to Hull.

Tigers' chief Phil Brown had reportedly lined up Hoolahan as a possible direct replacement for Stephen Hunt, who was the subject of a verbal �5m bid from fellow Premiership strugglers Wolves.

As it turned out Hunt stayed put - and so did Hoolahan.

Norwich's experienced striker Jamie Cureton remained at Carrow Road in the short term despite being widely touted for a possible loan move. The 34-year-old was linked with both Gillingham and Cheltenham and Lambert confirmed prior to the weekend that City had received a firm inquiry.

Cureton must now wait for the emergency loan window to re-open later this month in a bid to find regular first team football, with the striker out of contract in the summer. Cureton is again omitted from the squad for tonight's reserve league game against Wycombe's second string (7pm).

Danish defender Jens Berthel Askou makes his long-awaited comeback from a broken foot injury, with fellow defender Michael Spillane named on the bench after being sidelined by a hamstring problem.

"Jens returned to full training on Monday and Michael has been back for a couple of weeks and they'll probably have a half each as they need game time now to get back to match fitness," said reserve team chief Ian Crook. "Wycombe are unbeaten in the reserve league this season and no doubt will have a decent side out.

"It'll be a good run-out for both sets of players and I'm expecting a good game. Hopefully we can build on last week's win over Stevenage Borough."

City's latest Totesport.com Combination fixture tonight takes place at Maidenhead United's York Road stadium and not Wycombe's home ground Adams Park.

City Reserves: Rudd, Francomb, Gordon, Stephens, Askou, McVeigh, McNamee, Gill, Adeyemi, Dawkin, Kelly. Subs: Steer, Spillane, Clarke, Lathrope, Oakley.

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