Portsmouth chief addresses his Fratton future, ambitions and aims after dream impact

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The former Forest Green Rovers man arrived at the Blues in October 2022

Rich Hughes insists Pompey can match his ambition as he launches the next stage of his Fratton Park evolution.

The sporting director’s first full season at the Blues helm reaped the League One title and a return to the Championship after 12 years in the wilderness.

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The challenge is to maintain that encouraging rebuild, firstly overseeing a summer recruitment drive to equip Pompey for a testing 2024-2025 campaign.

Pompey sporting director Rich Hughes is overseeing Pompey's summer recruitment after reaching the Championship. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImagesPompey sporting director Rich Hughes is overseeing Pompey's summer recruitment after reaching the Championship. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages
Pompey sporting director Rich Hughes is overseeing Pompey's summer recruitment after reaching the Championship. Picture: Jason Brown/ProSportsImages | Jason Brown/ProSportsImages

Hughes left Forest Green Rovers for Pompey in October 2022 after realising he had gone as far as he could with a club which subsequently suffered successive relegations.

But he’s adamant he is nowhere near the ceiling at Fratton Park - with plenty to aim for.

He told The News: ‘I’m incredibly happy here and taking an immense sense of pride out of the work which has gone on.

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‘What we’ve done is get this football club back to where it should be as a minimum - now we start to progress forward.

‘The nice bit for me personally is knowing I have the faith of the ownership structure - and Andy Cullen and Tony Brown - to do my job without a huge amount of interference.

‘I want to keep driving this football club forward, to keep making the practices as best as we can, and trying to be really successful here.

‘At some football clubs you can get to a point where you achieve success and kind of know that’s the top. Whereas this club has been to the mountaintop, it has been in the Premier League, it has played European football, it has won FA Cups, every bit of success is hugely important.

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‘Me, John (Mousinho) and everyone at this football club knows that’s not job done - that’s job started. It’s quite an exciting thing to be part of.’

With the transfer window opening last Friday, Jordan Williams represents the Blues’ first signing of the summer.

Hughes added: ‘Leaving really doesn’t cross my mind, I love working here, I love the city, I love being part of this community and football club.

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‘It would be daft not to acknowledge the fact that it (the job Hughes is overseeing) will be noticed by people, but the nice scenario is we can keep making progress and, with our support structure we can keep being successful.

‘You are never done in football, there's always a next challenge to be getting on with. At the minute that’s recruitment. We enjoy what we do and we enjoy being part of it all.’

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