Former Newcastle United, Fulham and Aston Villa defender lands coaching job with international side

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A former Newcastle United defender has made his way into international coaching.

Former Newcastle United star Aaron Hughes has a new job.

Hughes came through the Magpies academy ahead of making 205 Premier League appearances until his eventual departure for Aston Villa in 2005. The former defender enjoyed a long and successful career, both at club and international level, also racking up as many as 112 appearances for Northern Ireland.

Ahead of the upcoming Euro 2024 campaign, Hughes has now been appointed as senior coach under Michael O’Neill, the man he worked under as a player in O’Neill’s first reign as boss, which included the successful Euro 2016 campaign.

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Speaking about the appointment, O’Neill said: “Aaron brings great experience as a player and a level of professionalism which will be particularly invaluable to the younger players in the squad. Having someone who has represented their country as many times as he did can only be a positive thing to have around the squad.”

Hughes hung up his boots as a player in 2018 after spending two years with Hearts, retiring at the age of 39. Fortunately, he had already been working on his coaching badges, and he hasn’t had to wait too long for his first major job. Northern Ireland were not able to qualify for the World Cup in Qatar, but they will feel they have a better chance of making it to Euro 2024 in Germany.

Their campaign starts in just a couple of weeks, on March 23, when they face San Marino, ahead of facing Finland just three days later. Denmark and Kazakhstan make up the rest of the group, with two spots available for qualification.

Hughes also took in spells at Fulham, Brighton and QPR during his playing career.

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