Phil headshot

England-born Phil Hughes will in January 2024 return to the Gold Coast Knights as Men’s First Team Assistant Coach, and Head Coach of the Under 18s and 23s. He will also head the Knights’ prestigious Academy of High Performance.   

Hughes, who has a knack for cultivating players into professional athletes, said he was excited to rejoin the Knights after a brief stint coaching the Under 12s in 2017-18 when the club combined with Magic United TFA. He left to fulfil a contract coaching some of the best youth teams in the Netherlands on a weekly basis (Ajax, PSV, Feyenoord, and others).   

It has been six years since Hughes was last at the Knights, and in that time, he’s been honing his skills, assisting young players secure professional football contracts. In 2023 he took on the role of a football education development coach with Manchester City FC, and prior to this he had roles at Salford City FC, AFC Fylde, N.E.C. Nijmegen, Ajax Clinics & Foundation, and Real Madrid Foundation.   

“I’m excited for the journey with the Gold Coast Knights and helping the club’s development to progress youth players into the first team and continue the first team’s winning streak of being the best team in Queensland,” Hughes said.    

“To see how much football has developed in Australia is exciting, and it’s one of my main reasons for coming back.   

“I’ve had many conversations with coaches Scott, Jimmy and Paul who were keen for me to join them and be part of the Knights’ exciting journey.   

“I look forward to applying what I’ve learned in the Netherlands and the UK to Australia, and I’m a believer that hard work beats talent, if talent doesn’t work hard. I’m grateful for the opportunity and looking forward to getting started.”    

 Hughes will touch town in Australia in December, ready to start at the Knights in late January.