Landmark For Former Toon Defender

Last updated : 04 June 2016 By Footy Mad - Editor

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The defender, who is 36, is expected to feature in the final Euro 2016 warm up fixture against Slovakia in Trnava.

If he is selected by manager Michael O’Neill, he will become only the second Northern Ireland player to hit the century mark.
The other is legendary goalkeeper Pat Jennings.

“It’s something no-one can ever take away,” Hughes said.

Hughes played his first international fixture against Slovakia and is now set to reach his century against the same nation, after earning his 99th cap coming off the bench in last week’s 3-0 victory against Belarus at Windsor Park.
The former Aston Villa, Newcastle United and Fulham player retired from international football but was persuaded to return in 2012 by Michael O’Neill.

He played for Australian club Melbourne City last season.

“At one point I never thought I would reach 100 caps but Michael came back in and he said a few things that really resonated with me.

“He made me really think about it and I thought ‘you know what, ‘that would be quite something’.”

“To walk away at the end of your career and look back on it, it’s something no-one can ever take away so I feel a great deal of pride.

“The amount of help I’ve had over that period from a lot of different people it would be too long to say thank-you to everyone but I’m very grateful to everyone who’s helped along the way, and Michael has played a big part in that.”

Northern Ireland open their Euro 2016 campaign against Poland in Nice on 12 June.