Player profile: James Hunt

Cod Almighty | Article

by Mark Dillerstone

6 August 2007

James Hunt is the last piece in the now infamous Stuart Campbell transfer. We have given Bristol Rovers so much. We gave their manager a loan spell when he was a player. We showed Lennie Lawrence exactly how far a small-town team with no ambition could really go. And we gave them the invisible man. In return the Pirates have allowed Mr Buckley to take Hunt off their hands – and this writer feels that Mr Buckley may have got the better of the deal.

Hunt, of course, is no stranger to Blundell Park, having completed a three-month loan spell at Town just before the end of last season. Hunt is what is known as a 'tough-tackling', 'no-nonsense' midfielder – which usually refers to a midfield spoiler who can't pass a ball, but in Hunt's case that is not strictly true. He is a ballwinner, and he does have the ability to provide to his teammates.

The player is best used as part of a five-man midfield, which means that fans at home matches will usually only see him for about 20 minutes each game before Buckley reverts to a 4-4-2 formation and brings Lump on to help out some lightweight striker or other. Buckley has used 'replaceable' players previously: in the '97–98 season Tony Gallimore was often replaced by Kingsley Black with Dave Smith dropping back to the left-back slot (though this could have had something to do with Gallimore's footballing ability). Unfortunately for Hunt, this could well be his role for Town next season, starting most games in the centre with Danny Boshell and Paul Bolland and continually being replaced when Town need to break out of their defensive shell. This is a pity, as Hunt is a good player in his own right.

Hunt has scored 20 goals in his 351-match career, including two for Town in his 15 games on loan. Before arriving at Bristol Rovers Hunt had played most of his career in his native midlands with Notts County and then over 150 games for Northampton Town before a couple of seasons with Oxford United.

In summary, then, we probably won't see too much of Hunt at Blundell Park, but it will be more than we saw of Stuart Campbell. There, I managed it without any reference to dead formula one drivers… oh, bugger.