Jets secure ex-Premier League midfielder on one-year-deal


Premier League veteran and ex-Ireland international Wes Hoolahan has agreed to a one-year deal with the Newcastle Jets.

The former midfielder, capped 43 times at international level, was also part of the Norwich City side that earned back-to-back promotions from League One to the Premier League.

Hoolahan, 37, made 350 appearances for the Canaries, netting 53 goals, but also played for English clubs West Bromwich Albion and Blackpool.

The deal is subject to the 37-year-old passing a medical, but Hoolahan says he's rapt to sign for the Jets, who are referring to him as the Irish Messi.

"It's always been a dream of mine to play abroad and I'm delighted that I'll be playing in Newcastle this season," Hoolahan said.

"There are some quality players throughout the league and I'm looking forward to testing myself in a new environment.

"I'm really excited to be coming to Australia, it's an entirely new challenge for me and I can't wait to get started."

Jets boss, Ernie Merrick was pleased to have secured the signature of the experienced midfielder.

“Wes is a great get for us, he’s keen to come out and play in the Hyundai A-League and we’re confident he can bring a lot to the side,” Merrick said.

“He’s an attacking-minded midfielder who will fit seamlessly into the style of football we like to play, his passing range is superb and he’s great with the ball at his feet.

“Wes’ experience will be invaluable to us, from all reports he’s a model professional and the type of player that our younger guys will learn a lot from.”

Hoolahan will wear the number 8 in Newcastle.

Meanwhile, Wellington Phoenix have announced the signing of promising young German midfielder Matti Steinmann.

The Hamburger SV player, who represented Germany at international age-group level up until the U-20s, has signed a one-year deal.

Like Hoolahan, the 24-year-old is looking forward to the challenge the A-League brings.

''I have watched the A-League a lot so when the offer came in, I knew I would be playing a high level of football,'' Steinmann said.

''(Head coach) Ufuk Talay is wanting young, hungry players that are technically good, which suits my style of play.''

The A-League season kicks off on October 11 when Adelaide United take on reigning champions Sydney FC.

Source AAP