PRO­MO­TION HUNT-ER

Noel Hunt is happy to have left Leeds to fo­cus on try­ing to help Ip­swich up

The Football League Paper - - NEWS - By Joshua Richards

STRIKER Noel Hunt be­lieves leav­ing ‘tor­mented’ Leeds for tran­quil Ip­swich has been one of the best de­ci­sions of his ca­reer.

The Ir­ish­man was ini­tially on loan with the Trac­tor Boys from Leeds at the end of 2014, be­fore his con­tract at El­land Road was ter­mi­nated.

And the 32-year-old, who has linked up with brother Stephen at Port­man Road, was happy to es­cape the seem­ingly peren­nial mad­ness in the Pen­nines for the seren­ity of Suffolk.

“Leeds and Ip­swich op­er­ate in to­tally dif­fer­ent en­vi­ron­ments,” ex­plained Hunt. “Leeds are a tor­mented club, the Foot­ball League has come down hard on them and their owner and they tend to be in the press for all the wrong rea­sons. And the fans have suf­fered for it.

“But Ip­swich has a calm­ness about it, and that’s the way it should be. You never hear from the owner and it’s nice to have a bit of tran­quil­lity. There’s no-one on edge, ev­ery­one knows the plan.

“At Leeds there were a few dif­fer­ent own­ers, then Mas­simo Cellino came in and changed things, got rid of the manager, you were never too sure where you were.

“Things didn’t work out at Leeds and it was time to part ways. I think I was more than fair in what I did, and the move was about my ca­reer. It’s nice to be in­volved more at Ip­swich, be­cause all I’ve wanted to do is play foot­ball and we’ve got a great team here.”

Of course, leav­ing Leeds for Ip­swich means Hunt has left be­hind a side at the wrong end of the ta­ble for one fight­ing for pro­mo­tion to the Pre­mier League – on a shoe­string.

When Ip­swich boss Mick McCarthy splashed out £100,000 to buy striker Fred­die Sears from Colch­ester in mid-Jan­uary it saw the over­all out­lay on his en­tire squad in­crease ten-fold.

For only left-back Ty­rone Mings – a £10,000 sign­ing from Chip­pen­ham Town, who is now be­ing mon­i­tored by a host of Pre­mier League clubs – had pre­vi­ously com­manded a trans­fer fee for his sig­na­ture.

Tal­ented

“I think the key thing is ev­ery­one Mick has brought in has the right men­tal­ity,” said Hunt.

“Ty­rone Mings is still only very young, but you don’t grab the at­ten­tion he has if you’re not a good player. Dar­ren Am­brose, I’m sure, is re­mem­bered for scor­ing some great goals, Jay Tabb was pro­moted with me at Read­ing.

“You could go right through the squad. There are very tal­ented play­ers here and a great at­mos­phere. It means we have a tightknit group and a fam­ily feel to the club.”

Team­ing up with older brother Stephen, 33, is an added bonus.

“The gaffer wanted me and I spoke to Stephen be­fore I signed, so it’s not just a co­in­ci­dence our ca­reer paths have crossed again. “It’s great when we’re to­gether. He’s qui­eter than me and I give him stick for it, but he loves it re­ally.”

PIC­TURE: Pin­na­cle

HAV­ING A BALL: Noel Hunt cel­e­brates his sec­ond goal in the 3-1 win at Mill­wall with Ty­rone Mings

SPLASH­ING THE CASH: New sign­ing Fred­die Sears

BIG BROTHER: Ip­swich Town mid­fielder Stephen Hunt

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