A Profile of Bryan Hughes – He’s still got it

Bryan HughesBryan Hughes is a skillful midfield player with a wealth of experience, he has enjoyed a long and successful career but still has something to offer.

As a player, Hughes describes himself as someone who has never shied away from a tackle, he has always looked to the get on the ball as much as possible.

The 35-year-old is currently playing for Accrington Stanley, which followed a short spell in Iceland with IBV Vestmann.

Earlier in the season, Hughes also coached at the Lancashire club, when previous manager John Coleman was in charge but he is now concentrating on playing.

He said: “I got a taste of coaching under John and it’s something that would interest me in the future, but I just want to carry on playing as long as possible.”

With numerous players finding themselves without a club and available on free transfers, Hughes knows how lucky he is: “I’m currently on a non-contract, and I hope to get a new one [contract] soon. I have a lot of friends who haven’t been able to get clubs.”

After struggling with his fitness last season, Hughes admitted that his short-term spell in Iceland was to get himself fit and ready to for the start of the season in England.

Which was an interesting experience: “I was actually surprised by the standard, it was much better than I expected.”

Changes in football

The game has changed a lot since you Hughes was a youngster coming through ranks: “The key change in football has been pace, having it is a real asset. I think it all changed with [Michael] Owen, [Nicolas] Anelka and [Thierry] Henry.”

Whilst there were fast players in the game, it was after those three came onto the scene that clubs started to look for fast youngsters.

Unlike many other footballers, he admitted he does not use twitter or other social media to update fans, as he prefers to do his talking on the pitch.


At the start of the season Hughes was signed by Coleman, the midfield player admitted: “With John Coleman it was going really well, we had a young squad and he had steadied the ship [after a slow start].”

Due to Coleman’s success, he was given the opportunity to take over at League One side Rochdale, this meant that Hughes reverted from player/coach to player when new boss Paul Cook left Sligo Rovers to take over.

Hughes had come across Cook: “I’d played against him previously but didn’t really know him before Accrington.

Before going on to say: “ He did a very good job with Sligo and helped them to progress. They had some good cup success in Ireland.”

After the initial hiccup at the start of the season, Hughes is pleased with how things are progressing: “There have been some decent results of late, but there’s a lot of football to play, and we’re aiming for a play-off place.”

Hughes has been out injured since the team’s loss to league leaders Swindon at the end of February but is expected to be fit and available for the game against high-flying Torquay at the weekend.

Loyalty and that final

He has also played for host of big clubs including Birmingham, Charlton, Derby and Hull.

When pushed on which of his ex-clubs he preferred, Hughes remained diplomatic but honest when he said: “Every club I played for has a special memories, through out my career there have been so many highs and lows.

“It’s great to see my old my clubs doing well at the moment, Birmingham are going strong, and Charlton look like they’re going up.”

Whilst there were many highs for Hughes, one special moment was with Hull:

“My first season with the club was incredible, we struggled at the start of the season and then we went on a very good run that ended with Wembley against Bristol City.”

Like many others he fondly remembers Dean Windass’ excellent finish, and on that goal, he stated: “Being a local lad; you could say the script was written for him.”

Another promotion season for Hughes was with Birmingham in 2002, a club where he made nearly 300 appearances for the club and scored 42 goals. 

After Birmingham, he moved to Charlton where played 74 times and scored on 24 occasions.

This interview was arranged by Hughes’ representative Simon Dent of WWW.SJDENTMGT.COM (ROAR Global Sports Limited).

By Scott Balaam

Twitter @scottbalaam