North Queensland Fury recruit Hughes excited by great opportunity

North Queensland Fury new boy Mark Hughes is excited about the next chapter in his football career.

North Queensland Fury new boy Mark Hughes is excited about the next chapter in his football career.

The 23-year old has joined the A-League club from English League One outfit Walsall and is looking forward to experiencing a completely different way of life and challenging himself in a new competition but says the main reason he agreed to the switch was to give himself great opportunities.

“I’ve done it to open a few doors. That’s the biggest reason I’ve come out here. People will question it, but if I enjoy it maybe it will give me opportunities I didn’t know I had,” he told the Express & Star.

“If I play well then I’ll get recognised. I know a few boys have been here and then gone on to play in Asia. I’m not saying I’m looking to go and do that but maybe one day, who knows?

“I know David Carney, who I played with at Everton, he came back out here, then got a move to Sheffield United and is now at FC Twente. It’s an exciting chapter in my life and I’m not looking back.

“I just couldn’t ignore it and wonder ‘what if’. At least I’ve done it to say I can regret it.”

Hughes, who kicked off his career with Everton in 2005 before spending time with Stockport County and Northampton Town, admits he has never seen any A-League action but reveals a former teammate has told him what to expect.

“To be honest I’ve never even seen an A-League game in my life. I played with (Central Coast Mariners defender) Chris Doig at Northampton and I called him,” he added.

“Chris told me, ‘Hughesy, some days it feels like you’re playing a Conference team and on others you’re against a Championship side.’

“It’s hot here so people don’t want to run about so it’s a little bit more patient.”

Hughes added that he will definitely miss his old club but was excited about the prospect of living in a very different environment.

“I’ll miss Walsall because it’s a great club with a great set-up – and I’ll miss our car pool,” he added further.

“I used to drive down to Crewe and then get a lift with Clayton Ince, Steve Jones, Dwayne Mattis and Clayton McDonald.

“We used to have a bit of a laugh and some good banter – I’ll miss that.

He said of Townvsville: “The population here is only about 180,000 there are loads of nice restaurants, bars and beaches. It’s not a holiday but it’s a holiday mood – it’s so much more relaxed.

“I’m getting an apartment right on the bench, there’s public BBQs on the street where people can just come down and bring their own meat.

“It’s slightly different to the M6.”

Have your say