james hurst | defence/midfield

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SUTTON COLDFIELD

31.1.1992

6' 1"

@hursty43

PLAYER BIO

Much-travelled right-sided player who rejoined the Pitmen in May 2019 from Sutton Coldfield Town

 

Sutton Coldfield-born Hurst has clocked up major mileage in his career to date, playing football from the Premier League down to step four of the non-league pyramid, whilst also representing England from U16 level all the way up to U20 level. After coming through the youth ranks of West Bromwich Albion, the tall teenager made the move to F.A. Cup winners Portsmouth in 2008, turning down offers from Arsenal, Manchester United and Aston Villa to link up with Pompey. However, he failed to make an appearance whilst at Fratton Park, and was loaned out to Icelandic Úrvalsdeild League side IBV for two months in the summer of 2010

 

After returning to England, Hurst found himself returning to the Hawthorns, as West Brom re-signed the youngster from Portsmouth on a free transfer following Pompey's relegation to the Championship and subsequent financial issues. He forced his way into the Baggies first team picture by making his full debut for the side in a League Cup quarter-final game against Ipswich Town in December 2010. He made two further appearances for West Brom the following month, making his Premier League debut in an away game at Fulham and playing in the F.A. Cup game at Reading four days later

 

Despite this breakthrough, Hurst was to never appear for West Brom again and started a sustained period of loan moves to a variety of lower league clubs. In August 2011, he was loaned to Blackpool for the whole of the 2011-2012 season, but only made two substitute appearances at Bloomfield Road before being recalled by West Brom in October 2011. The following month he completed the first of two loan moves to Shrewsbury Town. His initial month's loan was extended to six weeks in January 2012, with Shrewsbury keen to extend it further after an impressive spell. However, West Brom recalled the youngster and immediately sent him out to League One side Chesterfield instead on a four-month loan

 

The following season, Hurst made the short journey across the city to join Championship side Birmingham City on a month's loan, making his debut as a substitute in a 2-1 defeat to Cardiff City the following day. After two further appearances for Blues, Hurst once again returned to the Hawthorns, where he was sent back to Shrewsbury for the remainder of the season

 

With his contract finally up at West Brom in the summer of 2013, Hurst was released by the club and returned to Iceland to link up with Valur Reykjavík for a short spell at the start of the Úrvalsdeild League season. He returned to England on the eve of the new season to join League One new boys Crawley Town, clocking up nineteen appearances for the Red Devils as their regular right back. He was one of Crawley's standout players in their 2-1 win at Keys Park in the F.A. Cup 1st Round tie between Hednesford and Crawley in November 2013

 

New Crawley manager John Gregory arrived at the club in December 2013 and promptly dropped Hurst, allowing him to go out on a month's loan to Northampton Town in January 2014. After only one game at Sixfields, he returned to Crawley where his contract was cancelled by mutual consent

A fortnight later, he made a third sojourn to Iceland, re-joining Valur at the start of their 2014 league campaign. After eight appearances, he quit Valur and returned to England to link up with the Pitmen, making him Rob Smith's most high profile signing of the summer. After a spell on the sidelines early in the season, Hurst worked his way into the side and became a fixture in a Hednesford team that eventually finished in eighth place

 

Hurst made another one of his slightly- left-field moves in the summer of 2015, turning down the Pitmen's offer of a new deal to sign for Vanarama National League side Torquay United. After a bright start at Plainmoor which included seven goals, Hurst was suspended by the club in November 2015 following an incident on a night out. He was loaned to divisional rivals Guiseley for the remainder of the season, where he made eighteen appearances

 

Hurst was reunited with Rob Smith at AFC Telford United in the summer of 2016, joining the Bucks in July after returning to the Midlands. However, after just a few games for the club, he was sent off against Salford City and subsequently suspended by the club after a social media fracas involving Telford supporters

 

Hurst escaped the Telford nightmare with a move to the south coast in January 2017, joining Vanarama National League side Dover Athletic. After making ten starts for the Crabble side, he was released in May 2017 and joined league rivals Wrexham on a one-year deal

 

A frustrating time at the Racecourse Ground saw Hurst used mainly as a substitute in his time there, eventually agreeing to leave the club in March 2018 by mutual consent

 

Another return to the Midlands was in order in July 2018, joining Nicky Eaden's Nuneaton Borough. Hurst started the season in the Vanarama National League North side's team but was one of a number of players to leave abruptly just after the start of the campaign after Boro's financial problems came to the fore

 

A brief spell back in Kent followed with a short association with Vanarama National League South side Welling United, making a handful of appearances for the Wings before returning to his home town just after Christmas to join Sutton Coldfield Town until the end of the season

 

In May 2019, he made a welcome return to Keys Park, rejoining the Pitmen ahead of the club's 2019-2020 Evo-Stik Southern Premier League Central campaign 

 

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