The 43-year-old earned 112 caps for his country and represented the likes of Newcastle, Fulham, Aston Villa and the Jambos between 2017 and 2019 before calling time on his playing career shortly after leaving Tynecastle. More recently, the former Northern Ireland captain was named technical director at the Irish Football Association in November 2022, focusing on a high performance culture for men’s and women’s teams. Hughes now joins Michael O’Neill’s backroom staff ahead of the qualifiers, which see Northern Ireland take on San Marino later this month.
“Aaron brings great experience as a player and a level of professionalism which will be particularly invaluable to the younger players in the squad,” O’Neill said. “Having someone who has represented their country as many times as he did can only be a positive thing to have around the squad.”