Sheffield Wednesday: Hunt excited by Owls move

Jack Hunt (left) has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan
Jack Hunt (left) has joined Sheffield Wednesday on loan
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Sheffield Wednesday have completed the signing of Jack Hunt, the Crystal Palace defender, on loan.

Hunt, aged 24, is scheduled to spend the rest of the season at Hillsborough and becomes head coach Carlos Carvalhal’s first new signing since taking charge.

“I’m excited by the prospect of joining such a massive club,” Hunt told The Star earlier this evening. “When the opportunity to come here arose it was one that I just couldn’t turn down.

“I was looking through the programmes from last season after putting the finishing touches to the move and couldn’t believe the crowds that were here even for midweek games last year.

“I can’t wait to get started now. I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead.”

Hunt confirmed geography, combined with the prospect of working under his “first foreign manager” were all factors behind his decision to return north.

“It’s going to be fascinating to see how he (Carvalhal) goes about things,” Hunt, who was born in Leeds, continued. “Who knows? He might go about things the same way as a British coach but I’m sure he’s going to have his own methods, ideas and ways of communicating them.

“That’s something that really interests me, I’m not going to lie, and I’m sure learning from him is going to improve me as a player.”

“It’s also good to come back up north,” Hunt added. “It means a lot that my family are going to be able to come and watch me play. That was definitely one aspect behind this because, let’s be honest, a happy player is a better player.

“But the biggest, without a shadow of a doubt, was the chance to play for a massive club like Sheffield Wednesday.”

Hunt started his career with Huddersfield Town and was a member of the team which defeated Sheffield United in the 2012 League One play-off final at Wembley. He has also represented the likes of Rotherham, Chesterfield, Barnsley and Nottingham Forest since turning professional.

“When I went to Palace, I broke my ankle in training pretty much as soon as I’d arrived,” Hunt continued. “Footballers, as everybody knows, can be a pretty superstitious bunch and that probably put me in a bad frame of mind about London a little bit.

“I’m a bit of homebird, I make no apologies for that, but I’d never be disrespectful to my parent club at all.”

Dejphon Chansiri’s arrival at Wednesday - the Thai businessman purchased the club from Milan Mandaric earlier this year - has prompted a fresh wave of optimism behind the scenes with Darryl Lachman and Vincent Sasso acquired from Fc Twente and Braga respectively last month.

Chansiri has made no secret of the fact he wants to guide Wednesday into the Premier League at the earlier possible opportunity and Hunt said: “It’s an exciting time to be here and everybody at Sheffield Wednesday knows where they want to be.

“Whether we get there at the earliest opportunity or if it takes a little bit longer, we’ll have to wait and see but we’ll all be working hard for it.

“Because of what’s going on and the ambitions at Wednesday, it’s exciting to be a part of things.

“There’s a good pressure to achieve and I thrive on that type of thing. I think it brings out the best in me.”

“I’ve got a couple of years left on my contract at Palace so what happens beyond this season is up to them,” Hunt added. “I’m focused on Sheffield Wednesday now and I’m not looking any further ahead than this season. If Palace do decide they want to sell me then hopefully I’ll have done well enough for Sheffield Wednesday to want to buy me.”

Twitter: @JamesShield1