Former Latics and Leeds United forward Noel Hunt updates us on his time so far at Waterford FC and reflects on help from Paul Cook, Leam Richardson and Anthony Barry in getting him ready for coaching and management.
- Latics Listen: Noel Hunt guest stars on episode 13 of our podcast.
- Waterford FC, Latics' academy and Paul Cook and his coaching staff are the topics of discussion.
- "The lads at Wigan Athletic are a strong group with a lot of big characters.
As we build-up to Latics' Sky Bet Championship clash with Leeds United at the DW Stadium on Sunday, Noel Hunt, a man who played for both sides during his career in English football, joined us on the phone on the latest episode of Latics Listen.
Catch the chat in our weekly podcast or read from the interview with an excerpt below.
“I’ve been dipping my toes into coaching for the past four or five years and it’s something I definitely want to pursue when I finish playing.
“Working with the gaffer (Paul Cook), Leam and Anthony last season really helped me, so too being involved with the club’s academy. I would never have seen the whole technical development side of coaching for example if I hadn’t have had the chance to go along and work with the academy.
“It’s really grown over the past five years and you only need to look at the players coming through to see that. You’ve got the likes of Joe, Jenson and Kyle who are all flying and they’ll be big players."
NH on Joe, Jensen and Kyle’s international recognition
“You couldn’t get three lads more perfectly posed than them if that makes sense. They’re kind people and are all hungry and willing to learn, so it must be really good for all of the coaches there to see these boys coming through and playing international football."
NH on Paul Cook and his management staff
“He manages the manager’s side of it really well with his coaching and his tactics, and then of course Leam’s been with him for a long time and Anthony came in last year and he’s probably one of the best young coaches in the country. For me to just get a taste of what they do was huge and it’s something I’ll be forever grateful to them for."
NH on moving to Waterford
“We just finished the season last weekend so I had a dual role as player/assistant manager, but in the summer the manager was unfortunately taken to hospital and the club kindly asked me to come on board to hold the fort until he came back, which was really interesting but a good thing to do.
“It was great for me in terms of my experience but also to be able to hand the reigns back to the manager with no damage being done since he left."
NH on finishing in the European positions
“I was born and raised in Waterford so I’m no stranger to the place. It was a big test for me going there, but the boys went above and beyond to more than consolidate in the league having come up the previous season and we ended up in the European spots, so that was a massive achievement.
“When you’re from Waterford yourself doing something like that makes it even more special and I still have a lot of friends there and my family are there.
“It was one of those things that could have gone really, really well or really, really bad, but thankfully it went really well and like I say it was a great achievement by the boys."