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Former West Brom man Lee Hughes will seek out Darren Moore’s advice

Lee Hughes plans to call his old Albion team-mate Darren Moore for advice after taking a leap into management.

Lee Hughes, who is the new Halesowen Town boss, was Darren Moore’s team-mate at Albion
Lee Hughes, who is the new Halesowen Town boss, was Darren Moore’s team-mate at Albion

The former Baggies striker, who scored 99 goals for the club across two spells, has been appointed player-manager of Halesowen Town in the Evo-Stik Southern Central league.

Hughes is still playing at 42, but he’s keen to develop a career as a coach.

He recently completed his Uefa B licence in Northern Ireland and will be taking his A licence in the summer.

And he plans to draw on his contacts and friendships built up from a lengthy playing career stretching back to 1994.

“I still speak to Darren Moore a lot, as well as Martin O’Connor at Walsall,” he said. “I will be calling them for advice. I know a lot of managers in these leagues too.

“There were a few ex-players on my course too. We had the Portuguese international Tiago, Richard Dunne, England keeper Paul Robinson.

“Learning off them was good, and I still keep contact with all of them.”

Hughes had two spells at The Hawthorns, and continued playing league football until he was 37, but he’s spent the past five years in non-league.

He was joint-manager of Worcester City last season with John Snape, but stood down in order to join Halesowen as a player.

“I’ve got a little bit of experience, but it’s a different role doing it on your own,” he admitted.

“I probably would like to get involved in management and coaching in the future.

“It’s a great opportunity for me, Halesowen are a great club, they’ve got good support here.

“I only live five or 10 minutes from the ground, I just want to try to turn it around for them.”

The Yeltz are struggling this season and are currently second bottom, five points from safety.

After picking up just 10 points from 18 games, joint-managers Rob Smith and Larry Chambers left the club by mutual consent yesterday.

Hughes has 10 games to save them, starting this weekend with a crucial home match against Hitchin Town, who are three places above them.

“I got a phone call off (owner) Keith McKenna, he said Rob and Harry had gone,” revealed Hughes.

“I played with them at Telford and got on really well with them, so the first thing I did was give them a call. Everyone knows it’s a result-based game.

“I just want to get some confidence instilled in the team, we’ve got a decent bunch of lads.

“If you get a bit of confidence back and get a win early doors, I can see us going on a little run.”

As well as using his contacts for advice, Hughes is also planning to add a couple of experienced faces before the non-league transfer window shuts towards the end of March.

“They’re a young bunch,” he said. “Hopefully we’ll get a few more experienced players to help them along the way.

“There won’t be drastic changes because there’s only a couple of weeks left for transfers.

“If we add a couple of more players in it will get the lads going.”

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