Hughes still sad at Accrington Stanley exit

First published in Sport Lancashire Telegraph: Photograph of the Author by , Sports reporter

BRYAN Hughes remains without a club as Accrington Stanley prepare to face another of his former sides this weekend, and the midfielder has admitted his disappointment that his Crown Ground stay came to an end in the summer.

The former Birmingham, Charlton and Hull star spent most of last season with Stanley as he returned to the Football League for the first time since a brief spell a year earlier at Burton Albion, who the Reds face at the Pirelli Stadium on Sunday.

Hughes had hoped to stay with Accrington this season but a contract could not be agreed and he is still waiting for a deal elsewhere, determined to carry on playing at the age of 36.

“They offered me another year in a player-coach role,” said Hughes.

“At the time I felt that I wasn’t quite ready to move into coaching, I wanted to concentrate on playing.

“Then unfortunately negotiations broke down and Cooky (Paul Cook) brought in some younger players.

“I was disappointed that it didn’t work out because I really enjoyed my time there and I did want to stay. But there are no hard feelings.

“I’m out of contract at the moment. I’ve trained with Hull to keep myself fit, and I was at Bury for a while under Kevin Blackwell but because of the finances there we weren’t able to sort out a contract.

“I would love to go back to Accrington but being honest they might be overloaded with players at the moment.

“It might be that if a club gets an injury or two I sign for someone on a non-contract basis and then review it from there.”

Hughes gained his first taste of coaching when he stepped in to assist Leam Richardson as caretaker boss midway through last season, before Paul Cook was appointed as manager.

Cook has since moved on to Chesterfield and been replaced as boss by Richardson, who quickly made a transfer coup by recruiting former England striker James Beattie.

“I hope the club does well and I think Leam has done a great job since he took over,” Hughes said.

“James Beattie is a great signing. I think he probably has a similar role to what I had last year, as someone who has played at a higher level that the younger players can learn from.

“I just tried to pass on what I had learned and hopefully that helped.”

Stanley have extended keeper Paul Rachubka’s loan from Leeds for another week after Ian Dunbavin was ruled out for the season with a shoulder injury.

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