- Serbia, May 2008
- Current Team
- Republic of Ireland, Stoke City
- January 13, 1984
Dublin born Glenn Whelan has established himself as a solid and reliable central midfielder at both club and international level. His technical ability was spotted at a young age when he moved from Dublin club Cherry Orchard across the Irish Sea to Manchester City. He made just one appearance for City (a Uefa Cup game against Total Network Solutions) and followed this with a loan spell at Bury before joining Sheffield Wednesday in 2004 on a free transfer. After an impressive 142 appearances for Sheffield Wednesday he was transferred to his current club Stoke for €500,000 in 2008. Whelan has since gone on to establish himself as a consistent starter in Stoke’s perennial mid-table status in the Premier League.
Whelan made his debut for the Irish senior team against Serbia in May 2008 and became a vital part of Giovanni Trapattoni’s solid and tactically astute midfield. His blend of strong tackling and short passing fitted Trapattoni’s playing style and he became an ever present in the Italian’s midfield. The highlight of Whelan’s Irish career to date arrived with his spectacular strike in the 2-2 draw against Italy at Croke Park in October 2009.
Under Martin O’Neill Glenn Whelan has maintained his presence in the Irish team with the combative midfield ball winner seen as indispensable given his double role as cover for the back four. He is often chastised by the Irish supporters for being too safe in his passing and ponderous in moving the ball forward but it is this simplicity and tactical awareness that make Whelan such an important, if slightly unadventurous, part of the Irish midfield.
- Author: Brian Clerkin