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  • Writer's pictureThe Season Ticket

Football | Whelan no longer a Villan

Glenn Whelan has been released by Aston Villa.

The Republic of Ireland international made 73 appearances for Villa in his two seasons at Villa Park, but is now on the lookout for a new club following the team's promotion from the Championship.

Whelan has been released alongside Micah Richards, Albert Adomah, Mile Jedinak, Alan Hutton, Tommy Elphick, Ritchie de Laet and Mark Bunn as Dean Smith's side prepare for life in the Premier League next season.

The veteran midfielder says his "mission is complete" at Villa Park after the successful promotion bid, but was disappointed when he learned he was being released from a journalist before he was informed by the club.

"There was only one disappointment for me," Whelan told Sky Sports.

"I went away on the Tuesday with the family and when I landed back in here on Tuesday I had two missed calls, one from a journalist saying I'd been released and one from the manager to give him a call.

"From that point of view it was disappointing, but something I expected to be honest."

Whelan was an important player for the club this season, but was an unused substitute in the play-off final after making a calamitous error in the first leg of the semi-final against rivals West Brom.

"It was a great day, a great occasion," the 35-year-old said of the final.

"I signed two years at Aston Villa to get them back in the Premier League and I got them there, so for me, mission complete.

"To be released wasn't a surprise, obviously what stage I'm at in my career and where Aston Villa want to go. I'm very pleased with what I've achieved over the last few seasons."

Whelan started 23 league games in total this season, and one rich vein of form led to his re-inclusion in the Ireland squad.

The Dubliner has been included in Mick McCarthy's squad for the forthcoming Euro 2020 qualifiers against Denmark and Gibraltar, and will be hoping to add to his tally of 85 caps for the Boys in Green.

He says there are "no hard feelings" towards Villa, and even joked that Real Madrid have already been in touch when asked if he plans to continue his career.

 "Definitely," he said. "I've just had Real Madrid on the phone."

"I want to play as long as I can and as high as I can. I want to try and make an impact wherever I go. I don't want to go anywhere and be a cheerleader. I'm willing to fight for a spot and as long as it's a fair fight then I'll go and do that."

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