Canadian Exports: Rovers' Hoilett looks to be on move
As the majority of the European league seasons draw to a close, the time for many players to start looking new employers is at hand.
That puts Junior Hoilett's future in question, as Blackburn Rovers were relegated from the English Premier League with a 1-0 loss to Wigan on Monday. Hoilett played the entire game.
With seven goals for Blackburn this past season, it’s unlikely Hoilett will follow Rovers down to the Championship as he continues to be linked with a move to a much bigger club this summer.
It's better news for Simeon Jackson, who has been getting on-and-off minutes for Norwich in his first Premier League season. But Jackson will have another chance to improve his station with the Canaries next season as they remain in the top flight. This past Saturday, Jackson got the start as Norwich played to a well-earned 3-3 draw at Arsenal.
But Jaime Peters has a similar fate as Hoilett. The defender has already been told by Paul Jewell, the manager at English Championship club Ipswich Town, that his future likely lies elsewhere. Peters joined Ipswich in 2005 as a highly touted prospect, with rumors that he had spurned interest from Chelsea to join the Tractor Boys in the hopes of getting regular playing time.
That potential has not come to fruition as underwhelming loans at Yeovil Town, Gillingham and Bournemouth over the years have left Peters largely out of the Ipswich squad. With a year still left on his contract, it might be the time for Peters to move on.
Veteran defender Kevin McKenna may also be on the lookout for new job. McKenna played 90 minutes this past Saturday as his FC Cologne side dropped a 4-1 decision to Bayern Munich. That result, combined with a Hertha Berlin win against Hoffenheim, doomed Cologne to 17th place and relegation to the 2.Bundesliga next season.
It's much better news for Olivier Occean, whose fantastic season with Greuther Fürth came to a fitting end last weekend as the Bundesliga-bound club tied 2-2 with Hansa Rostock to claim the German second-division title. Occean finished the campaign with 17 goals to finish in a three-way tie for the most in the league.
Rob Friend’s Eintracht Frankfurt will be joining Fürth in the top flight next season after finishing in second place. Friend came on late in the second half in the club’s 1-0 loss to Karlsruher SC, but the striker seems unlikely to follow Frankfurt to the Bundesliga after logging minimal playing time this season.
Atiba Hutchinson will be playing in the Europa League next season. The Canadian national teamer played 90 minutes in PSV Eindhoven’s 5-0 win over ADO Den Haag last Wednesday and then again in a 3-1 win over Excelsior on Sunday. PSV finish the Eredivisie season in third place, just a point back of Feyenoord for second and a spot in next season’s Champions League.
In Portugal, Pedro Pacheco and club Santa Clara are within touching distance of staying up in the Liga de Honra — Portugal’s second division. Pacheco scored his side's second in a 2-2 draw with Moreirense that puts Santa Clara at 34 points in 11th place. With one game remaining in the league, Santa Clara are three points clear of the drop zone.
Goalkeeper Milan Borjan picked up another win with Vaslui in Romania last Wednesday, a 3-2 triumph over Targu Mures. With the result, Vaslui jumped into second place with 58 points and are in place for a spot in the Champions League qualifiers.
Fellow goalkeeper Lars Hirschfeld was also a winner. On Sunday, Hirschfeld backstopped Valerenga’s 3-2 win over Fredrikstad. The win moved Valerenga up to third with 13 points in the Norwegian Eliteserien.
Tomer Chencinski continues to have a difficult time in Sweden as starting goalkeeper of Örebro. The club are still winless in the Allsvenskan, suffering a 2-1 loss to Djurgardens last Thursday and then 1-0 defeat to Kalmar on Monday.
Back in Germany, Nik Legerwood played 90 minutes on Saturday in Wehen Wiesbaden’s 2-2 draw with Babelsberg. Wiesbaden are in 16th place with 44 points in the 3.Liga.
In Scotland, Marcus Haber was a second-half substitute in St. Johnstone’s 1-0 loss to Celtic last Thursday, and then played all 90 minutes on Sunday in their 2-0 defeat to Hearts. St. Johnstone dropped to fifth place on 50 points.
In Finland, Mason Trafford continues to have a lock on the back line at Mariehamn. Trafford has played in every game this season — including in Sunday’s 2-1 win over FPS. The win vaulted Mariehamn above FPS and into fifth place in the Veikkausliiga.
Way over in Singapore, Sherif El-Masri had a busy week for Courts Young Lions. El-Masri played 73 minutes in a 2-1 loss to Tampines Rovers last Thursday. That was followed up with a 1-1 draw with Albirex Niigata S on Sunday. El-Masri was a second-half substitute as Young Lions dropped to 11th in the early S. League season.
Also in Singapore, midfielder Jordan Webb played 90 minutes as Hougang United dropped a 5-1 decision to DPMM FC. Hougang are in ninth place, but Webb has seven goals in 12 games thus far.