Next Generation Connor Hunte
Wolves winger Connor Hunte admits that he has been ‘up and down’ over the course of this season, but believes he is now getting back to his best form as he bids to win a new contract.
Hunte was part of a Wolves XI that drew 1-1 with Northampton Town, in a behind closed doors friendly at the Sir Jack Hayward training ground, last Tuesday. And it was a match which saw him play in a slightly unfamiliar role.
He said: “I felt like it was a hard game. I was playing centre midfield which isn’t really my position but I felt that we worked hard, especially in the second half as we started playing a lot more football.
“In the first half it was more a case of us being on the back foot but we did a decent job and should have won the game.
“I’ve played centre midfield a few times, and towards the end of last season I played more as a number 10.
“I do like it in there, I don’t know whether I like it more [than playing out wide] but I do like it!”
Next up for Scott Sellars’ men travel is tonight’s trip to Solihull Moors in the Birmingham Senior Cup Quarter Final (7.45pm), before a league fixture with West Ham United at the New Bucks Head the following Monday (7pm).
And the former England Under-17 international is keen to use the additional matches as a claim to extend his stay at Molineux. As well as continuing to learn from the more experienced wingers at the club.
“I’d say the wingers here – especially in the first team – are very good,” he said.
“I like to watch them in terms of when to dribble and when to come inside off the wing - I try to take that into my own game.
“I do like being at Wolves, my first year here was a good season.
“This season hasn’t been so good for me as I’ve not been in the team as consistently as last year but nevertheless I’m enjoying it here.
“Throughout the whole season I haven’t been consistent enough and I need to work on that.
“But just lately I think I have started to find some form.
“I feel like I need to keep playing and playing to keep up my fitness, so the more regular the games can be I’m happy!”
Hunte joined Wolves in 2014 after spending a number of years at Chelsea.
Back then there were a number of clubs vying for his signature but he opted for Wolves after a conversation with the club’s Head of Football Development and Recruitment, Kevin Thelwell.
He said: “Out of all the clubs that I went to, Wolves had the best facilities,” he said.
“It was very good and when I came to meet them I was talking to Kevin and felt that they believed in me and I felt like I could get a chance here if I worked hard, and I thought this is the place for me.”
The Under 21’s season could also be described as being up and down with good performances not being rewarded with victories, though Hunte believes he knows why that is.
He said: “I think it could be something to do with us not being clinical enough, that’s something we need to work on in the box and that’s the only thing I can really put it down to.
“As a team I’d say we are a good team and we are playing well but sometimes we just lack a clinical edge to get some goals.”
Goals weren’t such a problem during Hunte’s time with England.
Back in 2011 he was part of Kenny Swain’s Under 16 squad that took on Northern Ireland in the Victory Shield at Chesterfield’s B2net (now Proact) Stadium. A match that England won 3-1.
Also in the squad at that time were Hunte’s future Wolves team mates Aaron Hayden and Ben O’Hanlon, as well as Chelsea’s Reuben Loftus-Cheek.
Recalling the match Hunte said: “When I first played for England I was 15 against Northern Ireland, it was on Sky Sports and in front of 5,000 fans, and that was massive for me!
“I’d never played in front of a crowd like that before, and my friends and family were all watching me. It was a big occasion and representing your country is always good.”