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Nicky ends O’s Hunt for a defender

14:31 01 February 2016

Nicky Hunt (left) in action for League Two side Accrington Stanley last season (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Nicky Hunt (left) in action for League Two side Accrington Stanley last season (pic: Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO).

Dave Simpson/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY - FA Premier League and Football Leagu

Kevin Nolan brings former Bolton Wanderers team mate to Brisbane Road

Leyton Orient have announced the signing of Mansfield Town captain Nicky Hunt on a permanent deal for an undisclosed fee.

The 32-year-old is a former team-mate of O’s player-manager Kevin Nolan and moves to Brisbane Road on a deal until the end of the season.

He has the option to extend his stay with the east Londoners when the current campaign finishes if the switch proves to be good for both parties.

Nolan confirmed on Saturday, after the 3-1 loss to Cambridge United, that he was interested in signing the defender.

Hunt played with Orient’s player-manager for eight seasons at Bolton Wanderers and is another alternative at right-back for the club.

It is an interesting switch for the experienced defender who has captained Mansfield this year and led them to success.

The Stags are currently seventh in the standings and a point above the O’s after winning 1-0 at Crawley Town at the weekend.

Hunt missed that match as he was at Brisbane Road, but he did play the full 90 minutes in Mansfield’s 2-1 win at Morecambe last Tuesday.

Now the defender departs the Field Mill outfit having only joined them in June from fellow League Two rivals Accrington Stanley.

The former Bolton ace will bring a wealth of experience with him and is another player with leadership qualities.

Not many would have expected Orient to pay a fee for a defender over the age of 30, considering they have Sean Clohessy in that position already.

But it shows again that president Francesco Becchetti is willing to back Nolan, who has talked about wanting competition all over the pitch and Hunt’s arrival is another option for him.

After Saturday’s poor display at the back, it is no surprise to see the east Londoners looking to recruit in that area going into the final part of the campaign.

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