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AFC Bournemouth: Howe keen for 'innovator' Hughes to remain at Dean Court
CHERRIES manager Eddie Howe is keen to tap into Richard Hughes’s “wealth of knowledge” after offering him a position on his backroom staff.
Hughes, who announced earlier this week he would be retiring from playing, had been discussing a suitable role with Howe for the past couple of months.
And Howe was given the green light to keep him on at a board meeting on Wednesday and the Scotsman has been given an official offer and job description.
Hughes, who also works as a pundit for BT Sport, would be employed by the club on a full-time basis with part of his role likely to include scouting and team analysis.
Despite being restricted to seven appearances this season, the 34-year-old’s experience and knowledge were invaluable to Howe as Cherries quickly adjusted to life in the Championship.
Howe told the Daily Echo: “I feel we have a really good backroom team and he would complement what we have.
“He has a bright brain, great views on the game and he is a real innovator.
“He is another AFC Bournemouth person through and through and a real supporter of the football club. If we could persuade him to stay involved with us, I think it would be a really positive addition.”
Howe this week met his players for their individual end-of-season debriefs and striker Jayden Stockley, a product of the club’s youth ranks, was offered a new one-year deal.
The Poole-born 20-year-old, unearthed by Howe when he was centre of excellence manager in 2008, made 30 appearances during loan spells at Leyton Orient and Torquay this season.
Handed his Football League debut in October 2009, Stockley was placed in the club’s development squad by former boss Paul Groves before he was immediately promoted back to the first-team ranks by Howe in one of his first acts as manager after returning to the club.
Howe confirmed talks were ongoing with out-of-contract goalkeepers Darryl Flahavan and Benji Buchel, the pair having spent most of this season as back-up to number one Lee Camp.
Flahavan, 35, made one appearance as a substitute after Ryan Allsop had been sent off during Cherries’ 2-1 defeat at Leeds in October, only to sustain an injury at Elland Road.
Liechtenstein international Buchel, 24, has yet to feature for Cherries and spent time on loan with both Poole Town and Havant & Waterlooville this season.
Meanwhile, development squad quartet Josh Wakefield, Josh Carmichael, Aristide Bassele and Harrison Gilkes are all understood to have agreed, in principle, new 12-month deals.
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