Ex-Newcastle defender Hughes named Northern Ireland technical director

Former Newcastle United defender Aaron Hughes has been appointed as technical director by the Northern Ireland Football Association.

The ex-footballer earned 112 caps for his country during an illustrious international career.

He will now be working on the development of elite men’s and women’s football in the country.

“This is an exciting time for the Irish FA and I am eager to get started in playing a key role in all areas of our operation,” he said in a statement.

“People often underestimate the reach of the Irish FA.

“We are central, along with our partners and stakeholders, to shaping people’s lives through football and I am looking forward to making a positive contribution at every level of the footballing pyramid.”

Irish FA Chief Executive Patrick Nelson added: “Aaron has demonstrated his considerable talents to the organisation since he joined us as a consultant last year.

“His relentless drive to push for high standards across the entire performance pathway, rooted in his deep experience gained at the top end of the professional game, will help the organisation flourish even further. He will be a key contributor to a range of major developments set out in our current strategy, A Roadmap for Football.”