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CCF Rebooted 27: Harry Bunn
Wednesday, 20th Apr 2022 16:36 by AtThePeake

Harry Bunn was a player who provided a short, sharp burst of excitement during the dreary months of Steve Eyre's reign before quickly fizzling out.

Position: Striker

Arrived from: Manchester City (loan)

Left for: Manchester City (end of loan)

Played : 2011

Appearances : 6

Goals : 0

With Dale struggling at both end of the pitch, assistant manager Frankie Bunn brought in his talented son Harry Bunn to help boost the team's chances of success, particularly in front of goal as the youngster had been prolific in Manchester City's youth sides over recent seasons.

Bunn made his professional debut off the bench in a defeat to Milton Keynes but was given little time to show Dale fans what he could do there. However, he turned in a very impressive performance just a few days later in the EFL Trophy quarter-final against Preston and scored a stunning equaliser to take the tie to penalties, wheres the Lilywhites eventually emerged victorious.

At just 18, Bunn had brought an energy and vibrancy that had been lacking in a struggling Dale attack in this game but perhaps he felt the weight of expectation afterwards as he couldn't quite bring the same level of performance into the six further appearances he would make.

He did feature in a 1-0 win over PNE in the league a week after that penalty defeat in the EFL Trophy, but as Dale's form continued to spiral, it became clear that it was too big of an ask for the youngster to really turn around their fortunes.

His performances in those 2 games against Preston convinced them to give him a chance on loan after his spell at Spotland, but he played just once (finding the net in a 3-2 victory over Wycombe) before being recalled by his parent club.

Bunn continued his tour of the north-west with another loan spell later that term, this time at Oldham, here his dad Frankie had been something of a legend during his playing days. He failed to score in 11 league appearances at Boundary Park, and also failed to score in short, subsequent loan spells in the following two seasons at Crewe Alexandra (four appearances) and Sheffield United (two appearances).

In 2013/2014, Bunn finally left the Etihad Stadium in search of regular first-team football and landed at Championship side Huddersfield, featuring sporadically in the final months of the campaign before nailing down a first-team spot in the 2014/2015 season, primarily playing on the left side of a front three.

As his role changed, he turned provider rather than a finisher, but did well to rack up a total of 17 goals in 95 appearances across his time at Huddersfield Town, while injuries began to slow him down in terms of regular first-team football in his third seasons. He also enjoyed a return to his former club Manchester City, dramatically giving the Yorkshire side an early lead at the Etihad before the Citizens flexed their considerable muscle to run out 1-5 winners.

That said, it was still seen as a real shock when Bunn signed for Bury in League One in the summer of 2017 having been such a key component of the Terriers' side when fit in recent seasons. The Shakers splashed the cash but didn't get too much in return as he managed just 3 goals in 38 appearances for the club and spent much of his second campaign out on loan at Southend United.

Four goals in 24 showings for the Shrimpers convinced Scottish side Kilmarnock to take a chance on him, but Bunn's career continued to stagnate and he didn't make much headway at Rugby Park, finding himself in non-league with York City before the season was out.

12 appearances and three goals saw Bunn do enough to earn himself a move back into the EFL with Scunthorpe United, where he has played out this season but managed just 10 starts and one goal as the Iron have slipped to relegation from League Two.

For a career that promised so much, particularly at Huddersfield, it's a shame to see Bunn, who still won't turn 30 until November, struggling to reach his obvious potential since making his start in the game on loan at Spotland.

Photo: Action Images

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