Thursday 8 December 2016

Stephen Hunt has found himself a new club... and he did it all himself

Published 12/01/2016 | 14:33

Stephen Hunt during his Ireland days
Stephen Hunt during his Ireland days

Former Republic of Ireland international Stephen Hunt is back in the paid professional ranks as a footballer.

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The Waterford winger has been without a club since he was released by Ipswich Town at the end of last season.

The 34-year-old, who also works as a columnist for the Sunday Independent, was clearly missing the playing field and the camaraderie of the dressing room and used his initiative to engineer a move to Coventry City.

"I was sitting at home watching a match on the telly about ten days ago when my phone rang," Coventry boss Tony Mowbray said.

"It wasn't his agent or a third party trying to open a deal, it was the boy himself who asked if he could come and train.

"He just wanted to get his boots on and feel like a player again. He lives relatively locally and because he phoned me himself I agreed he could come in.

"Hopefully over the next few weeks he gives himself the chance of getting around our 18. Knowing his career he is what you see which is a bundle of energy - a very likeable lad who has always got a smile on his face and he's very talented with the ball.

"I had a chat with after training the other day and talked to his advisors and we've come up with a package that suits us and him.

"It's a very open-ended arrangement. If something better comes in for him we won't stand in his way. We'll shake him by the hand and let him move on - but if he does well for us we might be offering him something more permanent."

The popular Irishman has built a reputation for his all-action displays but Mowbray believes his creative side will be just as important at the Ricoh Arena.

"He can pick passes that some of our younger players don't even think about, let alone see, and it just made sense to me to give him a contract," he added.

"You can see he's played at a higher level, he looks forward, passes forward and generally gets the ball to where he wants it to be."

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