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The Irish Wizard spoke to the press in a candid interview about his career post-Shelbourne, from his time at Livingston up until the present day, fighting for a Championship place next season with Blackpool.

With Shelbourne, Wes won the Premier League three times, however his time at Livingston was one of disappointment with the side fighting against relegation when he joined them in January 2006 - the season would end with them being relegated from the Scottish Premier League.

'When I went to Livingston I was used to winning, but they were fighting against relegation . I started 14 games and we only won one of those. That was depressing.'

'Then once they were relegated they had to get me off the wage list. They sent a fax to Blackpool and asked could I train with them, so I went down on the train for a three-game trial, one game in Blackpool, the other two in Latvia, did all right and they signed me on a season-long loan, with an option to buy me.'


Right from the get-go, Wes was a hit with the Blackpool fans during the pre-season games - particularly at Fleetwood and Bloomfield Road, where he faced off against his employers and team-mates from the previous season, Livingston, at Bloomfield Road which ended in a 2-1 defeat.

With the season getting off to a terrible start, he was left to sit out the majority of the opening games on the bench, losing his starting place to Rory Prendergast

'I didn't start the first five games, and then a fellow couldn't play in a Coca-Cola Cup match because he was ineligible. I got in, got Man of the Match and I haven't been out since, except for suspension or injury.'

'Mind you, it wasn't instant success. We only won one of our first 11 games, but then the team just gelled and we started winning and it was like Shelbourne all over again.'


The fact that Wes is comparing his time with Blackpool, to a side which won the title three times with him in the side must be music to the ears of Blackpool fans, as they cling onto hope that the tricky winger will be a part of the side's next league campaign - hopefully in the Championship.

With a number of Man Of The Match awards and a place in the PFA Team Of The Year for League One, it is no surprise that Championship clubs have already been reported as having been sniffing around the player, but Simon Grayson and the fans are keen to keep Hoolahan at the Seaside as they see him as an integral part of the side which has come on leaps and bounds in recent times.

Around Christmas time, Blackpool but in a bid to secure the player permanently, even though by his own admission, he was worn out by the heavy workload.

'They offered me a deal then but I said I'd wait till the end of the season.'

'I'm on the same money I was on at Livingston, but we have got a bonus for making the play-offs and there's another bonus if we go up. They have offered me two contracts: one if we're still in League One and one if we're in the Championship. A lot of players in the eircom League could play at this level, players from Cork, Pat's, Bohs, Drogheda and Derry, and the top teams in League One pay decent money.'


Hoolahan has been stalling over his future at the club since then, but the revelation that the club have offered the player two contracts is showing the ambition most fans were crying out for the Chairman to show this season - with the added financial backing of Valery Belokon - in order to clinch promotion after so many years of mediocre performances and seasons struggling at the foot of the division.

It also shows Hoolahan himself - who was reportedly settled in the area earlier in the season - that the club are keen to keep hold of him and progress to the level the fans and management believe the club is capable of.

Many Blackpool fans think that Wes' signing for the club is dependent on their performance in the Playoffs and any potential promotion could make - or break - the deal.

Assuming that Wes is set on playing for Blackpool in the Championship, one can say that he will sign a deal with the club should they clinch promotion at the 'W' word on the 27th May - if they get past Oldham Athletic on Saturday in the 2nd leg of the Semi-Final.

Conversely, Saturday could be the last time Wes is seen in a Blackpool shirt at Bloomfield Road.

Whichever way it pans out, all Blackpool fans across the country - and indeed across the world in America and even Australia - will have their fingers crossed come Saturday that Wes can guide the team to their 9th win in a row...and go for 10 in a row in the capital to clinch promotion back to the 2nd tier for the first time in 29 years.



Click here to join in the debate on the club forum.

Writer:Jerry
Date:Tuesday May 15 2007
Time: 9:31PM

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