Age: 29 years old.
Current Club: Llandudno FC.
Former Clubs: Rhyl FC.
SINCE returning to Llandudno FC ahead of their debut Welsh Premier League season of 2015/16, Danny Hughes has become one of their most important players.
The 29-year-old, who can play as either a defender or a midfielder was with Llandudno for quite some time before joining Rhyl FC, where was again vital, being voted “Player of the Year” in the Lillywhite’s push back into the Welsh Premier in 2012/13.
He spent his first season of WPL football with Rhyl, where he won the “WPL Fan’s Goal of the Season”, before making the move to Maesdu Park with Llandudno in the summer of 2015.
Two full seasons, eight league goals and 72 league appearances later, Hughes has established himself as a first teamer in a side that continues to flourish in the Welsh Prem.
One of his finest achievements to date is being the first and so far only Llandudno player to score in Europe after netting in a 2-1 defeat to Gothenburg back in July of 2016.
Last season, he won Sgorio’s “Goal of the Season” award for his superb strike against Aberystwyth Town back in February.
AFEFootballNews recently asked Danny a few questions ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 WPL campaign. This is what he had to say …
AFE: Hi Danny. First of all, who do you support and who was your footballing idol when growing up?
DH: Hello! I support super Leeds and my idols have always been David Beckham and Zinedine Zidane.
AFE: Best player you’ve played alongside and against and why?
DH: I’ll go with players in my position on this one.
One who I feel that I have learnt a lot from was Daz jones at Llandudno. I always felt like he was one step ahead and made things look easy at times. He very rarely put a foot wrong and so he taught me how important consistency is.
The best player I’ve played against is without a doubt a centre midfielder for Gothenburg called Seb Eriksson.
He ran the show against us without even getting out of first gear. He just made everything look so simple. I honestly don’t think he broke a sweat in the 120 minutes we played over the two legs.
AFE: Best manager you’ve played under and why?
DH: This is a tough question to be honest, as there has been quite a few good managers I’ve worked with over the years!
They’ve all got their own unique qualities, but for me it’s between Greg Strong at Rhyl or Alan Morgan at Llandudno, it’s really hard to split them. They’ve both got two different styles of management and their tactical inputs are class.
Alan’s coaching and desire to constantly try and improve the team and players individually are brilliant. He would do absolutely anything for you as well.
AFE: How does it feel to have twice won the goal of the season award in the WPL? Which strike was your favourite?
DH: I’m happy to have won it. It’s something that will be good to look back on once I’m retired!
I’d probably go with the Rhyl one against airbus. Just because I struggled with injury for the first time in my career so I didn’t really get chance to show my best that season so to score that goal made it feel like it wasn’t all disappointing.
AFE: You then returned to Llandudno in a time where the club had really started to progress, how did it feel to be a part of that team that finished third in the clubs debut WPL season?
DH: Firstly, winning the Cymru Alliance with them was a big achievement in my career because the only reason I ever left originally was to try and win the league to play in the WPL.
To then go on and finish third, qualify for Europe and then play in Europe all for my my hometown is something that will never be beaten.
AFE: You also scored in the European qualifier against Gothenburg? Was that the career highlight for you?
DH: I’d have to say it’s up there!
It’s something that not many people get the opportunity to do so it’s nice to be able to look back on when my career is over and say I did that.
AFE: What are the realistic aims for Llandudno this season? and what are your personal aims?
DH: I always think the most important thing for a fairly new team to the league, is to stay in it but I’d like to think we can compete for a place in the top six.
It’s going to be hard because TNS, Bala, Connah’s Quay and Bangor should all make the top half so that leaves the other eight teams fighting for the last two spots.
Personally, I always have the same aim and that’s to be consistent, injury free if possible and to try and get around the 10 goal mark so we’ll see how it goes. I want to personally try and play every game.
Thanks for talking to AFEFootballNews Danny and all the best to you and Llandudno during the 2017/18 season.