Eastleigh sign former Barnet Captain Hughes

Mark Hughes (right) shakes hands with his new manager Baird (left)

Ian Baird added another addition to his squad yesterday with the capture of Northern Irish international and more recently former Barnet captain  Mark Hughes who has agreed  a one year deal with The Spitfires.

Hughes who started his career with Tottenham Hotspur has played for a number of football league clubs including Oldham Athletic and Northampton Town will be a great addition to the ever improving Eastleigh squad and makes it eleven signings for manager Baird in the summer who spoke for the official website yesterday.

“Once again he is the calibre of player I am looking for and has plenty of experience. He has played under pressure, captaining Barnet last year who were successful retaining their league status on a very small budget.”

“He played for us at Sholing on Tuesday night and I liked what I saw and I liked what I heard – he seems a very good lad who will fit in well with us”.

Shortly after signing his contract at The Silverlake Stadium, Hughes who toured with Northern Ireland in America making two full caps against Romania and Uruguay spoke for the official website.

“Eastleigh are clearly going somewhere and I have been really impressed with everything and everyone connected to the club. This was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down for myself or my family. ”

“I really enjoyed the way we tried to play Tuesday and looking at the group of players we already have and the potential, we all just want to get promotion,”

Talking about his recent departure from now Blue Square Premier side Barnet, Hughes went on to say:

“I was club captain and played every week so have lots of league games under my belt but at the end of the season, the third manager of the year just didn’t fancy me and it was time to move on.”

“Moving to a part-time side I’ll be joining a gym and make sure I am doing my own bits on the side because if we are going to win this league we will have to be the fittest in the league and I’m going to make sure I am. I’ve had a really good pre-season with Martin Allen at Gillingham and been involved in a friendly for Gillingham too so feel in good shape now.”

Mark Hughes will be in the squad for this Saturday’s pre-season friendly away to Winchester City at The City Ground (3PM kick off), The Spitfires will want to get pre-season back to winning ways after losing away to Sholing on Tuesday 3-2 at The Silverlake Arena.

Bryon Mason got the home side off to the best of starts after 28 minutes with a 25 yard low drive into the bottom right hand corner which gave Eastleigh keeper Jack Dovey no chance.

It didn’t take The Spitfires long to equalise though, five minutes later Jai Reason sent a through ball to Moses Ademola who poked the ball past the on rushing Sholing keeper to make it 1-1.

On the stroke of half time, Craig McAllister laid of a ball to Jai Reason who chipped the Sholing keeper to put his side in front and to score his fourth pre-season goal in as many games.

With Eastleigh making several second half changes, the hosts soon equalised and Lee Wort struck a half volley from 25 yards which flew in the back of the net to make it 2-2.

With The Boatmen dominating the second half, Andy Forbes mistimed a challenge on his marker and gave away a penalty Barry Mason made no mistake with a thumping drive in the middle of the net to put his side in the lead.

The Spitfires did have chances to fight back however they couldn’t be converted and right back Mitchell Nelson had to substitutedafter an injury for the already substituted Adam Everett.

In other news Eastleigh have parted ways with midfielder Danny Smith and is expected to join his former team mate Jamie Brown at Gosport Borough, the former AFC Bournemouth player has also left his football in the community and academy manager role at Eastleigh Football Club and will be replaced by Dan Wright.

News in season tickets was announced earlier in the week on the official website,  the price of the early bird season ticket has been extended to the 7th August when The Spitfires play their first home pre-season friendly against Oxford United.

As the club marches toward 300 season tickets sold,Eastleigh spokesman Darren Nangle told the official website:

“Season tickets will be available to purchase at the Silverlake when we host Oxford United this coming Tuesday but we are delighted and very grateful with the numbers sold so far and are calling out for the local community for one last big push.”

and went on to talk about the new corporate Executive Club:

“We have upgraded our Executive club facility and membership this year has increased dramatically. It would seem people see Eastleigh Football Club as an excellent opportunity to network and do business but we still have limited spaces available and anyone interested should contact the club.”

If you have not purchased a season ticket, to purchase or to enquire about Executive Club membership call the club house on 02380 613361.

Season ticket prices can be found here.

If you wish book travel for upcoming games, you have to log in to the official fans forum to put your name on the list and to become a supporters club member ask at the next home game or print of a form on the official website (see here).

Away travel has also been organised for the coming season, the prices are Supporters Club members £5 for trips under 100 miles and £10 for trips over 100 miles, the price for non members will be £10 for all trips.


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