Noel Hunt (born 26 December 1982) is an Irish footballer, who is currently player/assistant manager for Swindon Town. He began his career in Ireland with Shamrock Rovers, also playing for Waterford United on loan. He moved to Scotland in 2003, where he played for Dunfermline Athletic and Dundee United. He has played in England since 2008, with spells at Reading, Leeds United, Ipswich Town and Southend United prior to joining Portsmouth in 2016.
Hunt playing for Reading in 2011
|Full name||Noel Hunt|
|Date of birth||26 December 1982|
|Place of birth||Waterford, Ireland|
|Height||5 ft 8 in (173 cm)|
|Swindon Town (player/assistant manager)|
|2001–2002||→ Waterford United (loan)||9||(5)|
|2014–2015||→ Ipswich Town (loan)||4||(1)|
|2002–2003||Republic of Ireland U21||4||(1)|
|2007||Republic of Ireland B||1||(0)|
|2008–2009||Republic of Ireland||3||(0)|
* Senior club appearances and goals counted for the domestic league only and correct as of 27 December 2017|
‡ National team caps and goals correct as of 14 October 2009
Hunt has also represented the Republic of Ireland national team. Having previously played at under-21 and B international level, he won three full caps between 2008 and 2009. His brother, Stephen Hunt, is also an Irish international footballer.
Hunt began playing junior club football in his home city of Waterford, before being signed by Damien Richardson for League of Ireland club, Shamrock Rovers in Dublin in 2001, aged 18. He made his competitive debut in a 3–2 League of Ireland Cup win over Shelbourne on 29 October 2001, and scored his first competitive goal in the same competition in January.
Rovers then loaned him out to Waterford United where he scored five league goals in the First Division in the 2001–02 season. Scoring on his debut in December 2001 he was later embroiled in controversy as the Blues were deducted three points due to incorrect registration.
The following season was the last winter football season and in the shortened 27 game series, new manager Liam Buckley played Hunt and he rewarded the club by being top club goalscorer with eleven league goals and two FAI Cup goals to propel Rovers to the FAI Cup final and third place in the league.
During this time he also made his European debut playing twice for the club in the UEFA Cup. His final match for Shamrock Rovers was on the last day of the season, 24 January 2003, when he was substituted to a hero's reception in a game where Rovers beat Longford Town 3–2 to secure a place in the UEFA Intertoto Cup. He was awarded the Shamrock Rovers Player of the Year award that season. Hunt scored a total of 14 goals for the "Hoops".
Hunt moved to Scottish Premier League club Dunfermline Athletic in a £100,000 deal on 27 January 2003, going on to win the clubs' Young Player of the Season award for the 2003–04 season. His pace and aggressive running won praise from Dunfermline supporters, but his time at the club was disrupted somewhat by a recurring knee injury.
He joined Dundee United in June 2006 for £50,000, scoring his first goal on 5 August against Rangers in his second match for the club, a 2–2 draw. On 14 October he scored against Celtic in a 4–1 defeat and scored the winner against Kilmarnock in November. His goals continued with winners against St Mirren, Inverness Caledonian Thistle, and Motherwell. However, after injuring himself scoring the winner against Motherwell in December, he failed to score again until his goal in the 4–0 away victory over Hearts in March 2007.
In the 2007–08 season, Hunt scored three times in the opening six league matches, as well as a goal in the League Cup Final, a match United lost to Rangers on penalties amidst refereeing controversy, during a 2–2 draw. On 31 October 2007 in a League Cup match against Hamilton Academical, he scored his first hat-trick for United in a 3–1 win.
On 23 July 2008 Hunt moved to Championship side Reading for an undisclosed fee rumoured to be around £600,000. Having taken the club's number 11 shirt, recently vacated by John Oster, Hunt joined up with the squad's tour of Sweden and scored his first goal in a 3–1 win over Halmstads BK on 29 July.
In the absence of Reading manager Steve Coppell (who was already in Sweden), Director of Football Nicky Hammond said that although "Dundee United didn't want to lose Noel but understood his real desire to embark upon a new challenge with Reading Football Club. From my conversations with Noel, it is clear that he possesses the qualities of hunger and determination that Steve Coppell wants at this club as we attempt to regain a place in the Premier League."
He played his first competitive game for Reading on 12 August 2008, scoring the deciding goal in a 2–1 win over Dagenham & Redbridge in the first round of the Football League Cup. He also scored on his second appearance on 26 August 2008, scoring the first of five goals by Reading in a 5–1 result against Luton Town. Hunt scored his first league goals for Reading when he scored twice in a 6–0 win over Sheffield Wednesday. In February 2011, Hunt revealed he turned down SPL side Celtic to stay at Reading and signed a new 2-year deal with the club.
In February 2012 Hunt was nominated for the PFA Player in the Community award. Hunt scored 8 goals in 41 Championship games during the 2011/12 season which helped Reading earn The Championship title and seal a return to the Premier League under the stewardship of manager Brian McDermott.
Hunt scored his first Premier League goal for Reading in the 2–2 draw with Newcastle United, heading them 2–1 up from a Jobi McAnuff cross. He scored his second Premier League goal for Reading in a 2–2 draw with Swansea a week later, volleying in from inside the box. In his final season at Reading. Hunt revealed in January 2013 he was hoping to earn a new extended contract at Reading, with his contract expiring at the end of the 2012/13 season. Hunt made 24 appearances in the Premier League and a further 6 in cup competitions, scoring 6 goals in all competitions, Hunt's first team opportunities were limited after competing with Adam le Fondre, Pavel Pogrebnyak, and Jason Roberts for first team places.
On 3 July 2013, Hunt signed a two-year contract with Championship side Leeds United linking up with his former Reading boss, Brian McDermott. Hunt was handed the Number 10 shirt that had been left vacant after the departure of Luciano Becchio. Hunt revealed the club's reputation and fans- as well as joining up his former boss- were big reasons for joining the club.
Hunt made his Leeds United début in the first game of the season against Brighton & Hove Albion on 3 August, Hunt started the match in which Leeds earned a 2–1 victory. Hunt picked up a hamstring injury in the fixture against Derby County on 5 October and was substituted and subsequently missed all of the following fixtures in 2013 through injury. He returned to training during late December with the hope of returning to the first team in 2014. He made his return to first team action on 4 January 2014, as a second-half substitute in the shock 2–0 FA Cup defeat against Rochdale.
After 19 appearances for Leeds during his début season, Hunt finished the season with 0 goals, during an injury hit season.
Ipswich Town (loan)Edit
After falling down the pecking order at Leeds, Hunt joined Ipswich Town on loan on 27 November 2014. On 29 November, Hunt came on as a substitute to make his debut for Ipswich Town against Charlton Athletic in which he scored a 94th-minute winner in a 1–0 win on his debut. The goal marked his first goal since January 2013.
Hunt rejoined Ipswich Town on a permanent deal on 8 January 2015 after being released by Leeds United. On his permanent debut on 17 January 2015, Hunt scored two goals in a 3-1 win away to Millwall. Hunt was later released by the club, at the end of the season.
Following Hunt's release from Ipswich Town, Southend United had a lengthy tussle with Chicago Fire over the forward, eventually gaining his signature on 1 August 2015. Hunt signed a one-year contract which could be extended to two depending on performances. His first goal for the club came against Coventry City on 31 August 2015. At the end of the 2015–16 season it was announced that Hunt would be leaving the League One club, though Southend boss Phil Brown confirmed he was hopeful that a new deal with Hunt could be negotiated.
On 13 November 2018, Hunt was appointed assistant manager at Swindon Town working alongside the newly appointed manager, Richie Wellens. Swindon Town owner, Lee Power, confirmed during an interview with BBC Radio Wiltshire that Hunt had also been registered as a player.
Hunt made his debut as a substitute for his country at Rugby Park in a Republic of Ireland under-21 national football team friendly game against Scotland in February 2003. He went on to play four times at this level scoring once in Tbilisi. He was named in the Republic of Ireland "B" squad on 8 November 2007, for the match against Scotland on 20 November at the Excelsior Stadium in Airdrie, which ended in a 1–1 draw.
He was called up to the senior squad for the Poland friendly in November 2008, after injuries to Robbie Keane and Aiden McGeady, making his debut in the game, coming on as a substitute on the 60th minute.
His second cap for the Republic of Ireland came in the World Cup Qualifying tie against Italy in Bari, Southern Italy. He came on as a substitute for his then Reading colleague, Kevin Doyle.
Hunt started his first competitive game in Ireland's last World Cup qualifying tie in October 2009.
- As of match played 26 September 2017
|Club||Season||League||National Cup||League Cup||Other||Total|
|Shamrock Rovers||2001–02||Irish Premier Division||0||0||0||0||2||1||0||0||2||1|
|Waterford United (loan)||2001–02||Irish First Division||9||5||0||0||0||0||0||0||9||5|
|Dunfermline Athletic||2002–03||Scottish Premier League||12||1||4||0||0||0||—||16||1|
|Dundee United||2006–07||Scottish Premier League||28||10||1||0||2||0||—||31||10|
|Ipswich Town (loan)||2014–15||Championship||4||1||0||0||0||0||0||0||4||1|
|Southend United||2015–16||League One||21||4||0||0||1||0||0||0||22||4|
|Wigan Athletic||2017–18||League One||1||0||0||0||1||0||2[c]||1||4||1|
Outside of footballEdit
Hunt married his fiance Alana Bracey in June 2013.
- Shamrock Rovers
- Dunfermline Athletic
- Dunfermline Athletic Young Player of the Season : 2003–04 season
- Shamrock Rovers
- FAI Cup Runner Up 2002
- Hugman, Barry J., ed. (2009). The PFA Footballers' Who's Who 2009–10. Edinburgh: Mainstream Publishing. ISBN 978-1-84596-474-0.
- "Hoops win exciting cup tie". Shamrock Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Hoops hit Longford for six". Shamrock Rovers F.C. Archived from the original on 13 January 2009. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Registration required". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
- "Registration required". Irish Times. Archived from the original on 18 October 2012.
- "Pars win striker Hunt". BBC Sport. 28 December 2002. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- "Hunt requires surgery". BBC Sport. 10 May 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- "New faces welcomed to Tannadice". BBC Sport. 20 June 2006. Retrieved 1 January 2008.
- "Halmstads Bollklubb 1–3 Reading". Halmstads Bollklubb. Archived from the original on 25 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Noel Hunt joins Reading". Reading F.C. 23 July 2008. Archived from the original on 27 May 2012. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- "Five-star Royals ease through". Reading F.C. 26 August 2008. Archived from the original on 3 June 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2008.
- "Reading 6–0 Sheffield Wednesday". Reading F.C. Archived from the original on 31 May 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Noel Hunt turned down Celtic to stay at Reading". Retrieved 22 February 2011.
- "Noel Hunt signs new two-year deal with Reading FC" Archived 7 April 2014 at the Wayback Machine Get Reading. 15 February 2011. Retrieved 15 February 2011.
- "Noel nominated for Community work". Reading F.C. Archived from the original on 28 April 2012. Retrieved 10 April 2013.
- "Reading 2–2 Crystal Palace" BBC Sport. 21 April 2012. Retrieved 21 April 2012.
- "Noel Hunt eager to sign new contract with Reading". Goal. Retrieved 16 January 2013.
- "Contract Offers". Reading F.C. Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "Reading striker Noel Hunt begins search for new club". The Independent – Ireland. Retrieved 21 May 2013.
- "Noel Hunt, Ian Harte, Nicky Shorey, Simon Church and Jay Tabb released by Reading". Retrieved 24 May 2013.
- "HUNT COMPLETES UNITED SWITCH=Leeds United". 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Noel Hunt: Leeds United sign former Reading striker". BBC Sport. 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "LURE OF FANS PLAYED A PART FOR NOELLURE OF FANS PLAYED A PART FOR NOEL=Leeds United". 3 July 2013. Retrieved 3 July 2013.
- "Leeds 2 Brighton 1". www.leedsunited.com. Leeds United AFC. 3 August 2013. Retrieved 5 October 2013.
- "STRIKER TO RETURN TO TRAINING : Noel Hunt to step up recovery bid..." www.leedsunited.com. Leeds United AFC. 11 December 2013.
- "Rochdale 2 Leeds 0". BBC Sport. BBC Sport. 4 January 2014.
- Phil Hay (7 January 2015). "Leeds United: Hunt agrees to terminate contract". Yorkshire Evening Post. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- "STRIKER FREE TO LEAVE". Leeds United A.F.C. 7 January 2015. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Pearce, Steve. "Noel Hunt joins on loan". Ipswich Town F.C. Retrieved 27 November 2014.
- @JWOgle, Jonathon Ogle. "Noel Hunt completes free transfer switch to Ipswich Town". www.itfc.co.uk.
- "Ipswich Town: Hunt brothers free to leave Championship club". 18 May 2015 – via www.bbc.co.uk.
- "Phil Brown attempting to make Southend sexier than Chicago to sign Noel Hunt". Echo.
- @SUFCRootsHall. "Irish striker agrees Roots Hall switch". www.southendunited.co.uk.
- "Southend United: Noel Hunt and Myles Weston in group let go by League One club". BBC Sport. BBC. 13 May 2016. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- Phillips, Chris (28 June 2016). "Noel Hunt turns down Southend United deal but remains in talks". Echo-News. Newsquest. Retrieved 28 June 2016.
- "HUNT SEALS POMPEY DEAL". portsmouthfc.co.uk. Portsmouth F.C. 4 August 2016. Retrieved 5 August 2016.
- "Portsmouth 4-0 Mansfield". BBC Sport. 12 November 2016. Retrieved 14 November 2016.
- "Noel Hunt: Wigan Athletic sign former Portsmouth forward". BBC Sport. 3 August 2017. Retrieved 4 August 2017.
- "Wigan Athletic in talks with five out-of-contract players after League One title win". BBC Sport. 18 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
- "Waterford FC Sign Noel Hunt". BBC Sport. 31 May 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- "Swindon Town appoint ex-Oldham Athletic boss as manager". BBC Sport. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- "Phil Brown out Richie Wellens in". BBC Wiltshire. 13 November 2018. Retrieved 18 November 2018.
- "Connor and Gartland earn 'B' call-up". RTÉ. 8 November 2007. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- "Ireland pegged back by late strike". Irish Times. 20 November 2007. Archived from the original on 11 October 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2008.
- "McGeady and Keane ruled out of Poland friendly". Football Association of Ireland. 16 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Ireland suffer defeat for first time under Trapattoni to clinical Poland side". Football Association of Ireland. 20 November 2008. Archived from the original on 6 March 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Spirited Ireland come from behind to take a precious point from Italy". Football Association of Ireland. 28 April 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Ireland complete World Cup first phase unbeaten". Football Association of Ireland. 14 October 2009. Retrieved 18 November 2012.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2002/2003". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2003/2004". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2004/2005". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2005/2006". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2006/2007". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2007/2008". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2008/2009". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2009/2010". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2010/2011". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2011/2012". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2012/2013". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2013/2014". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2014/2015". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2015/2016". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2016/2017". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Games played by Noel Hunt in 2017/2018". Soccerbase. Centurycomm. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- Fogarty, John (9 July 2012). "Downing a pint to Davy's venture". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 27 November 2012.
- "Wedding bells as three Irish players tie the knot". Independent Ie. 15 June 2013. Retrieved 15 June 2013.