| 8.3°C Belfast

Chris Brunt out to shoot new club into Premier League 'promised land' after signing one-year deal


Chris Brunt has signed for Bristol City.

Chris Brunt has signed for Bristol City.

Getty Images

Chris Brunt has signed for Bristol City.

Chris Brunt may be 35 but he's still as ambitious as ever and has set himself a high target with his new club.

The Northern Ireland hero left West Brom after 13 years at the Hawthorn during the summer, ending his spell at the club in perfect fashion by helping them to automatic promotion to the Premier League.

Fast forward six weeks, he has signed a one-year deal at Bristol City and has vowed to help them to the same 'promised land'.

That would mean two Championship promotions in two seasons for the left-sided star but he's optimistic his new squad, managed by former Oldham boss Dean Holden, has what it takes, having finished in the top half in all of the last three seasons.

“It’s a different challenge now," he said.

"My challenge at West Brom was about trying to stay in the Premier League for all of those years. That was tough and when we got relegated the challenge was about trying to get back.

"I was glad I left West Brom on that high but this club (Bristol City) has been there or thereabouts in recent seasons but tailed off at the end. The manager speaks about it, the lads want to do it, it’s a great experience to get to the promised land and that’s what I’m here to do.”

Brunt played only 74 minutes of league football for the Baggies last season and, while he's realistic to know a full 46-game campaign may be beyond him, he's keen to play a great role in the season that starts with the visit of Coventry on Saturday.

“I’m delighted to be here, hopefully get a good bit of training under my belt this week and hit the ground running on Saturday,” he said.

“That’ll be the main thing, my experience, I’ve played a lot of football over the last 15 years or so. It’s a young, enthusiastic squad so hopefully I can help a few of them along as well. The manager has been great with me, getting me down to look around and I’m delighted I did.”

Manager Holden was quick to highlight the benefits of his new recruit.

“It’s brilliant to have secured Chris’ services because he is a player who is going to be very useful to us on and off the field," he explained.

“He’s technically very good, with an accurate pass, and a leader with a strong voice who will be a great teacher to the younger players. That is important to the development of this squad and I’m really looking forward to working with Chris in the season ahead.”

Brunt played 65 games for Northern Ireland but retired from international football in 2018.

Belfast Telegraph