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Capture of Walsall's Hughes a major coup for North Queensland Fury

North Queensland Fury football operations manager Robbie Middleby is excited about the recent signing of defender Mark Hughes.

The 23-year old Englishman signed with the A-League club this week after some tough negotiations by the Fury with his English League One club Walsall.

Hughes was still contracted to the Saddlers but the Fury fought hard to get him a release and Middleby was delighted when they finally signed the former Everton man.

"It's a massive coup for us, huge," Middleby told the Townsville Bulletin.

"He's a leader, he's been a captain at Walsall, he's been through the Everton junior ranks and he's a leader and for that centre-back position it is really what we were looking for. It's a great signing.

"Technically he's very good, he's good on the ball and, from what I've heard, very big and strong.

"He's been playing a very good standard in England, very good, (and) he's got a lot of experience for that young age, so I think it's great for the team, great for the club and great for everyone."

Hughes, who will arrive in Townsville tomorrow, told Walsall's official website that the move was simply a great opportunity.

"It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity and if I don't go for it I think I'll always be thinking 'what if?'," he said.

"These opportunities don't come round very often and, after much deliberation, I want to give it a go."

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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