Pompey target: Injuries aren’t an issue

Noel Hunt. Picture: Joe Pepler
Noel Hunt. Picture: Joe Pepler
  • Noel Hunt scored four goals in 22 appearances for Southend last season
  • Veteran striker has netted twice during his 99 minutes on the pitch for Pompey
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Noel Hunt shrugged off his injury problems of the past and insisted: I’m fit and raring to go.

The former Reading striker netted his second goal in three pre-season friendlies when he registered at Salisbury on Tuesday night.

I don’t get strains, pulls or biomechanical injuries, instead it is mainly impact injuries and that is down to the way I play

Noel Hunt

Pompey are keen to sign the 33-year-old – yet for many supporters there remain concerns over his injury record.

Hunt played 22 times and scored four goals at Southend last season, with boss Phil Brown keen to book him in for another season.

However, since departing Reading in July 2013, the former Republic of Ireland international has totalled only 56 games and seven goals.

His first-team involvement at Leeds, Ipswich and Southend during that period has been hampered by injury, despite undoubted ability.

But Hunt is adamant he is now free from such problems and is focusing on the next month of his career – hopefully at Fratton Park.

He said: ‘I have been wrongly labelled about my injuries, to be honest.

‘That is people looking from the outside in and not knowing the full story.

‘I don’t get strains, pulls or biomechanical injuries, instead it is mainly impact injuries and that is down to the way I play.

‘I like to get stuck in and when I am fully fit you will see that.

‘Last year at Southend I had two impact injuries, one from a bad tackle in September. I was supposed to be out for six months but was back in under three.

‘The other was caused by a tackle from behind in training, injuring my medial knee ligaments. I was supposed to be out for five months and was back in two-and-a-half.

‘So I was unlucky last year with impact injuries – but my luck has to change.

‘I’ve not actually had a pull or strain over the last 10 to 15 years, so am very lucky in that respect and long may it continue.

‘I am working hard, I’m feeling strong and I’m starting getting games under my belt.

‘Hopefully in three or four weeks’ time I will be up to speed.’

Hunt has so far totalled 99 minutes from his three pre-season appearances for the Blues.

Having been introduced as a substitute against the Hawks, he also climbed off the bench to turn out against Sutton United.

Salisbury represented a first start of the summer for the striker before he made way at half-time for fit-again Michael Smith.

By then he had converted Enda Stevens’ left-wing cross for the first of the game – adding to a similar goal at Westleigh Park.

And gradually Hunt believes he is getting his game back.

He added: ‘I don’t feel match sharp at the moment.

‘I should have scored another in the first half when I tried to scoop the ball out of the grass but it was long and kind of stopped my kick.

‘It will come, though, and hopefully my future will be sorted soon.

‘Wherever I go I will be fully fit and the manager and staff here have been top class.’