Hunt Hoping to Keep Blues Moving Forward

Noel Hunt began his career with Johnville and then signed for Shamrock Rovers before playing for Waterford on loan in season 2001-2002 (five goals in nine games). He then went on to play for Dunfermiline Athletic, Dundee United, Reading, Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Southend United, Portsmouth and Wigan Athletic. He also won three full caps for the Republic of Ireland.
Noel and his brother Stephen have been a credit to their family and indeed to the game itself. Aged 35, Noel has decided to sign for Waterford FC as a player-assistant manager and when he was unveiled at the RSC on Friday last it was clear to see that ‘Hunty’ was thrilled to be back in his native city once again.
When he spoke his infectious desire to succeed came through loud and clear and there is no doubt whatsoever that he will be a huge asset to the club.
“It’s a different chapter in my career and it’s an exciting one for me. I’m looking forward to the next four or five weeks of getting to know the boys before going from there and playing.
“I think that’s the right path for me and we still have a couple of things to get across the water but for me, I feel that this move is the next progression for me and the next step.
“I have enjoyed the side of doing my coaching badges in England in the last few years and thank God that all that side of it is away. I got it into it about eight or nine years ago with Brendan Rodgers, who is Celtic manager and the late Eamon Dolan, who was with Reading FC. Since then I suppose I’ve had a hunger for it and a desire for that side of the game. I find it interesting and I think from my point of view at this stage, it’s the way forward.

Waterford FC General Manager Jack Power, pictured with new signing Noel Hunt, who was unveiled at the RSC on Friday. Photos:Noel Browne

Waterford FC General Manager Jack Power, pictured with new signing Noel Hunt, who was unveiled at the RSC on Friday. Photos:Noel Browne


Hunt says his main objective is to keep the club’s momentum going in the right direction.
Noel travelled with the coaching staff and squad to Turner’s Cross for Friday’s match and is eligible to play from July 1st.
“I’m delighted to join the club. When you look around at the stadium and the facilities, it’s a much different club than the one I was at 16 years ago,” Hunt said, admitting that he was on the final week of his UEFA A Licence coaching course when he got the call to come to Waterford. “But it’s a club that’s going places and I’m delighted to be part of that going forward.
“All I want to do is try help keep the momentum going at the club. Some people might come in and try change this and that, but you don’t change something that isn’t broken.
“For me, and to everybody around here, the club is going in a very positive direction and it’s credit to the players, staff, fans and everybody involved, and I’m just hoping to come in and add something to it and push it forward.”
Waterford FC's new signing Noel Hunt pictured with Junior Blues supporters Mark Williams, Luke Dunphy, Cian O'Sullivan and Jamie Williams.

Waterford FC's new signing Noel Hunt pictured with Junior Blues supporters Mark Williams, Luke Dunphy, Cian O'Sullivan and Jamie Williams.


Hunt played at the RSC while on loan from Shamrock Rovers in the 2001/02 season, but has been keeping check on the team over the years and didn’t hesitate at the opportunity.
“I have been keeping an eye out for the boys since I’ve been away and it hasn’t been easy for the club over the last few season, but when we spoke last week, and what’s happened to Alan over the weekend, I was ready to come over and get it sorted and be able to step in to help the lads. There was no real question of doubt in my mind. So, I spoke to my wife and she told me to go and do it, it’s a big step for me.”Having trained with the squad this week, Hunt isn’t surprised to see the club where they are in the Premier Division table.
“You can see why the team have done so well, the sessions are really good quality from the boys. It’s more of a credit to themselves that they have that drive to keep the standards high and you know if someone gives a bad pass, then they’re always encouraging to get better and that’s a great thing to have in a squad.“When you know you’ve got the confidence and the trust of your teammates it’s a massive thing, and they all seem to have that.”And after a week of training and seeing the club, Hunt is thrilled with the facilities and the staff that the Blues have at their disposal.
“Everything is fantastic here, the ground, the pitch, the training facilities, they’re all superb. The training this week has been great, the boys have really been at it; Franny [Rockett] too has been brilliant this week, he’s a strong influence and a great character, along with the other lads. I think the more of them you have around the club the better, so for me it’s been a great start.
“Everyone has been really focussed and they’re looking to the games now before the break to continue the positive season so far.”

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