Erstwhile Irish international Noel Hunt has returned to Waterford FC, the club have confirmed. The club released a statement on their website last night confirming that Hunt the Junior is coming back in a player/assistant manager role.
Waterford FC are delighted to confirm the signing of Noel Hunt. Waterford-native Hunt joins the club as player/assistant-manager.
Hunt will be no stranger to Blues’ fans having played at the RSC in the early 2000’s before going on to represent the Republic of Ireland senior international side and play in the English Premier League with Reading.
Hunt spent time in Scotland with Dunfermline Athletic and Dundee United before earning a move to Reading where he secured promotion to the Premier League; and went on to make 24 appearances.
Hunt most recently played for Wigan Athletic, earning promotion to the Championship.
Waterford FC General Manager, Jack Power, said: “We are delighted to have Noel Hunt return to Waterford. He is widely experienced, having played in the Premier League as well as representing the Republic of Ireland. He’ll bring both great energy and enthusiasm into Waterford FC. It is truly a major coup for our football club.”
They've covered most of Hunt's CV there, but we'll fill in a couple of blanks: Hunt was capped three times by Ireland, with his most significant moment coming in Bari. A late equaliser for Ireland against Italy was credited to Robbie Keane, but Hunt has claimed it, and told the fondly-remembered (by whom? - Ed.) Balls Football Show a year ago of the fall-out to the entire farrago.
After the Italy game, I felt I was frozen out a bit, after the whole Robbie Keane thing, with the goal. It was too short for me, I wish it went on longer.
I came out and talked about it. People would have thought 'oh, he's just bitter and raw', but look: football is a great deal of my life, but it's not my life. I love winning and I love football, but there is so much more to life. To me, friends are more important, family is more important; memories are more important than money.
After the game, I had a couple of phone calls from people who I won't mention, who were high up in the organisation and the staff, who were saying, 'look, we don't want to upset anyone, so we are going to leave it as it is'. I pleaded my case, and asked them the question if they scored for their country. One of them did - he was a legend, and scored a couple of times - but I asked one of the guys in the background if he had scored for Ireland and could he describe to me what it was like.
He said 'No I can't', so I said 'Then don't ring me ever again. How dare you tell me that something I grew up dreaming about has been taken away from me'.
Waterford are a comfortable third in the League of Ireland table, six points clear of Derry City but lagging eight points behind second-placed Cork City.