Leeds’ loss is our gain when it comes to Noel Hunt, says Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy
Ipswich Town boss Mick McCarthy still can’t quite believe that he was able to add Noel Hunt to his list of free transfer success stories.
The Irish forward had his contract torn up by former employers Leeds early in the new year, the Blues moving quickly to snap up the experienced 32-year-old on a free transfer following his encouraging loan spell just prior to Christmas.
Since then he’s enjoyed two impressive starting appearances, scoring twice on his full debut – the 3-1 win at Millwall – and providing an assist, as well as a goal-line clearance, in last Wednesday’s 3-2 defeat at Brighton.
It’s been a dramatic turnaround for the former Reading man who, having won promotion with the Royals in 2012, found himself inexplicably ostracised from the first team picture at Elland Road not long after a 2013 move.
“I wonder what other people didn’t see in him which meant we could get him for nothing,” said McCarthy. “I think his performances, even taking away the goals, have been very, very good.
You may also want to watch:
“Like his brother (Stephen) he’s just a great character to have around. They’re completely nuts! It’s great, I love it.”
Noel Hunt is yet another example of a player that has seemingly been written off by other clubs only to be reinvigorated following a switch to Portman Road.
- 1 Road closed as one person trapped in car on its roof
- 2 Matchday Recap: Celina wins it for Town and sends Portman Road wild
- 3 11 Suffolk hotels named among best in the country
- 4 Widow: 'Heartless' council won't allow extra 4 inches for my husband's headstone
- 5 Major A14 roundabout may not reopen until next week as water main repaired
- 7 Suffolk shop wins 'Boutique Clothing Store of the Year'
- 8 Ipswich Town 2-1 Fleetwood Town: Celina's late, late winner seals it for Blues
- 9 A140 closed in both directions after two vehicle crash
- 10 Warning of seasonal canine disorder after dachshund Trudie taken ill
Christophe Berra (Wolves), Daryl Murphy (Celtic), Stephen Hunt (Wolves), David McGoldrick (Nottingham Forest) and Jonathan Parr (Crystal Palace) were all let go for nothing, with Murphy now the Championship’s leading scorer with 18 goals, Berra arguably the best centre-back in the division and McGoldrick having been the subject of a £7.5m bid from Leicester City back in the summer.
McCarthy’s current squad consists of just two players that cost transfer fees – recent recruit Freddie Sears a cut-price £100,000 from Colchester United and £10m-rated left-back Tyrone Mings a £10,000 addition from non-league club Chippenham Town.