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Hughes signs new Addicks deal

Posted: Wed 29 May 2013
Author: Iain Liddle
Andy Hughes

Andy Hughes

Image by: PA

Andy Hughes has signed a new one-year contract with Charlton, the club confirmed on Wednesday afternoon

Iain Lidddle reports

Andy Hughes has signed a new one-year contract with Charlton, the club confirmed on Wednesday afternoon. 

The experienced campaigner arrived during manager’s Chris Powell’s overhaul of the playing squad prior to the League One title-winning campaign of 2011/12 and has proved a popular player on and off the pitch.

Hughes’ two-year spell with Charlton was severely disrupted by an Achilles injury picked up in April 2012, which kept him out for around 10 months, but he battled back to reclaim his place in the side in March of this year.

His return to action coincided with the club’s fine upturn  in form over the final eight matches of the season, and the former Oldham Athletic trainee is now eager to pick up where he left off.

“I can’t put into words how happy I am,” he told, after signing his new deal.

“I’m over the moon and honoured that the manager wants to keep me for another season. For him to say he wants to keep me as a player meant the deal took about a minute to conclude. It was just a ‘yes’ straight away.

“I feel I am very lucky to be given the chance to stay here and be a part of what he is building with his staff and to work with this group of players and the youngsters coming through.”

Powell was equally delighted to secure the services of a person who he values as a player, but also a character in and around the training ground.

“I’m really pleased that Andy has agreed to continue playing with us and will be a part of our squad going forward for next season,” said the Addicks boss.

“His enthusiasm has shone through since he arrived at the club. It’s great for us to tie him down for another year, and hopefully we can help him to begin making the transition into the next step in his career.

“Andy played a vital role for us on the pitch over the course of the last eight of games of the season and he also has great qualities in the dressing room.

“He is a great role model for our academy players and development squad as well, as we saw last season. You cannot have too many characters like him around the club.”

Following his reintroduction to the side, Hughes formed a partnership with skipper Johnnie Jackson in the centre of midfield and provided a disciplined, defensive shield for the defence.

While he still has plenty to offer as a player, Hughes has previously studied sports science and began work on his coaching badges at the start of the summer.

With that in mind, the versatile veteran says he will be paying even closer attention to the methods of Powell and his staff next season to pick up as much knowledge as he can.

However, while he have half an eye on the training sessions themselves, his main focus remains on playing as many games as he can for Charlton.

“After being out injured, I just wanted to get back into the team and do whatever I could. Thank God that the manager had the courage to believe in me and put me in the team,” Hughes added.

“I can’t thank him, his staff and the physio department enough. I just want to try and repay the manager, and the owner as well. The owner and Martin Prothero have stuck their neck out to put the deal together to keep me, so I am just thankful to them.”

Read more from Andy Hughes on later this week about his transition into coaching and the next stage of his career.

Click here to read his thoughts about why the good work being done at academy and development level mean the future is bright for Charlton.