AFC Bournemouth: Richard Hughes relishing new season

Richard Hughes

Bournemouth's Richard Hughes says he is looking forward to the new season more than any other of his career so far.

The midfielder played at Portsmouth for nine seasons, including seven in the Premier League.

But he thinks the upcoming Championship campaign is going to be special.

"I'm feeling good and looking forward to the season more than virtually any season since I've been a professional footballer," the 33-year-old told BBC Radio Solent.

Hughes rejoined the Cherries in August 2012 after four seasons at the club between 1998-2002, but he was restricted to 24 appearances last term because of injury.

The former Scotland international retired in 2011 following his release from Portsmouth but was tempted back into football by former Cherries boss Paul Groves.

Hughes says because of his temporary absence from the game he appreciates more the time he has left in football.

And he believes despite being the oldest member of a relatively young Cherries squad he still has something to offer manager Eddie Howe.

"When you've retired once, like I did, you are back in football for all the right reasons and you don't take anything for granted," he said.

"I'm very much looking forward to it [next season] and we'll see how fit I am in pre-season, of course.

"The manager knows me very well, as well as anyone in the football circuit, and he knows he can call upon me whenever he needs me like he did last season. This season will be no different.

"They [Bournemouth's first-team squad] are mostly very young but I am sure they will blossom at Championship level and I'm sure they will fulfil their potential."