Noel Hunt: My Pompey wait definitely worth it

Patient Noel Hunt has toasted finally becoming a Pompey player.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 5th August 2016, 6:01 am
New Pompey striker Noel Hunt Picture: Joe Pepler
New Pompey striker Noel Hunt Picture: Joe Pepler

And the striker insists other clubs were snubbed to ensure he remained permanently at Fratton Park.

Hunt has spent the past three weeks training with Paul Cook’s squad in an attempt to win himself a deal.

That was positively concluded yesterday, with a 12-month agreement for the former Republic of Ireland international.

The mutually-beneficial departure of Paul Jones, who has moved to Norwich, provided the Blues with the financial flexibility to swoop for Hunt.

Accrington full-back Adam Buxton also joined during a busy day on the south coast.

And for ex-Reading striker Hunt, the move he had set his heart on has at last been sealed.

He said: ‘From the start it was transparent between myself, the manager and the board, it was open and honest so there was never really any confusion.

‘At the time I came in to train, the manager said he wasn’t looking for a striker, but I wanted to get my fitness – and things went from there.

‘On Wednesday night I got a phonecall from an old team-mate who plays for a team up north asking if I wanted to go up to them for a bit.

‘I told him I was happy where I am, thanks.

‘I hadn’t signed yet but trusted the manager and am happy here.

‘I feel this is the right move for me. The club, the players, the team spirit, it fits nicely. I have been at clubs before where I have felt like this.

‘For me it was never about money, if it was I could have gone somewhere else for more in a higher league.

‘It’s about wanting to be successful and wanting to do something for this club and being part of it.

‘For me it is ideal. I wanted to be at a club with big ambition and be under pressure, all the things you want at big clubs.

‘I’ve had a couple of phonecalls from clubs a little bit closer to my (Reading) home but Portsmouth didn’t shy me away.

‘For me it was the right fit. My wife was happy and I was happy, so happy days.’

Hunt, who spent last season at Southend, linked up with the Blues upon their return from Ireland.

Since then he has amassed 128 minutes in Pompey pre-season friendlies, scoring twice.

And the front man believes he is approaching full match fitness.

‘I think I’ve been okay in matches, while haven’t missed a minute of training,’ added Hunt.

‘I am not yet match fit, but am getting there and looking forward to getting on the pitch.

‘I have played minutes during the pre-season, although the first-team pace is obviously different, such as the Bournemouth game.

‘But I am fit as I can be and am looking forward to it.’