Soccer: Duff wants Shels legend to return to Tolka Park

by Aaron Dunne
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Shelbourne have been linked with a move to bring club legend Wes Hooloahan back to Tolka Park in what would be a marquee statement from new boss Damien Duff. 

However, there looks to be plenty of work left to do for the Reds in securing the former Belvedere an’s signature as he appears to be happy with his current terms at Cambridge United.

Hoolahan is believed to besettled in England and has no plans to move home to Ireland in the longer term, yet he was interested in talking to the Reds about an emotional comeback to the club where he started his career.

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The Dubliner remains an important player for Cambridge, so a summer move is the only realistic scenario. Hoolahan’s contract with Cambridge expires at the end of the League One season and he is a big part of Mark Bonner’s plans for the remainder of the campaign.

Hoolahan (39) lives with his family in the Norwich area – the club where he enjoyed his best days in the UK – and his workload is tailored towards maximising his impact. 

He came off the bench to play a key role in Cambridge’s recent shock FA Cup win over Newcastle.

He operates off a slightly different schedule to the rest of the group, and family considerations would be a big part of the equation if he was to consider a short-term relocation to Ireland.

Former Republic of Ireland international Wes Hoolahan, right, and North East Inner City Initiative Sports Engagement manager, and Dublin footballer, Michael Darragh Macauley – Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It’s believed that further discussions will be required to see if it’s viable for all parties.

Shels are preparing for a return to the Premier Division with the appointment of Damien Duff capturing the imagination.

They have moved to a full-time training schedule, with former Ireland international Joey O’Brien leaving Shamrock Rovers to become Duff’s assistant.

Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

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