Phil Hughes

Coach of: 

  • Head of Academy High Performance 
  • Head Coach for U18s & U23s 
  • Men’s First Team Assistant Coach 

International football coach Phil Hughes has a knack for turning players into professional sportspeople. To gain experience, his first coaching experience was voluntary – as a shadow coach with the Liverpool Foundation and Liverpool Girl’s Centre for Excellence.  

His professional coaching roles went on to include roles in the UK, Netherlands, Australia, and the US with teams including Magic United, Gold Coast Knights, Real Madrid Foundation, Ajax Clinics and Foundation, N.E.C. Nijmegen, Salford City FC, and Manchester City Development.   

Hughes had a brief stint with the Gold Coast Knights back in 2017-18 when they combined with Magic United TFA, coaching the Under 12s. He left to fulfill a full-time contract at Ajax Foundation and N.E.C. Nijmegen in the Netherlands coaching the best Under 15 youth teams, and other appointments.   

Hughes is passionate about physical fitness, and a range of sports, so knew from a young age he wanted to pursue a career in sport or physical fitness. He really enjoyed the coaching aspect of football – and seeing how much players improve with training, so it was the path he pursued.   

Hughes believes in teaching players to work hard, dominate the game, and enjoy ball possession as a way to express themselves. He also has high expectations of himself, believing that “you have to be uncomfortable to know who you are.”  

His career highlights include seeing youth team members he’s coached be selected for professional youth contracts to play first team football.    

Hughes looks forward to working with the Knights to perfect their physical and mental finesse, helping players to think with clarity and make quick decisions.    

“I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in the Netherlands and the UK and bringing that back to Australia,” he said. “Hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard.”  


  • UEFA B License 
  • Talent Identification Level 1 
  • FA Youth Module 1 & 2 
  • Level 3 Sports Leadership & Management 
  • Person Trainer Level 3  
  • Ajax Coaching Academy Education.