30 October 2016 / Club News

Player Interview: Matthew Hughes

Matthew Hughes has had a big impact on Aber’s performances this season as an attacking outside half, and is one of the leading performers among the ‘newcomers’ to the side. He is 22 years of age, 6’2” (1.88m) tall and weighs nearly 15.5 stone (96kg). He joined the club in late summer 2016 from Mumbles RFC. His family home is in Swansea where his parents and sister still live.

What brought you to Aber Matthew?

I wanted to be nearer my girlfriend Angharad who lives in Capel Bangor. I am a primary school teacher and eventually hope to find a teaching post in this area.

Where did you learn your rugby?

At Brynymor  Junior school in Swansea. I pestered my father to let me play even though I was only seven years old and finally got to play for the under-9s with two years to spare.

Who was the main influence on your rugby?

My father, Andrew, who played for the South Wales Police. He guided me in the basics of the game. He is still my harshest critic.

Is rugby your favourite sport? What other sports do you play?

Rugby is definitely my preferred sport. I don’t play any other sport, winter or summer.

Had you ever played against Aber before?

Yes, my first ever senior game was against Aber at Plascrug playing for Mumbles RFC. We won that time but out of four such occasions I’ve won twice and lost twice to Aber.

How do you rate the current Aber side?

It’s a strong side; we’re third in the league at the moment and we know that we have more to give. We’re determined to improve and I’m very happy being part of the team. There’s a great spirit in the side.

Which of the four Welsh regional teams do you support?

I support the Ospreys. (This shows that Matthew has a sense of humour as well as a rugby brain!!)

What do you like most about being in Aber?

Everyone is so friendly here. We’re a very close squad and it’s always possible to find a few of them to go out with when I feel like it.

What do you dislike about being here?

Being away from my family and my long-term mates.

What are your career and sporting ambitions?

In my career, I would like to become a headteacher one day, to run a school, especially one for deprived kids as I have been doing as a teacher in the Swansea area. But I don’t think that there are that many deprived children around here. At some point later, I would like to give up teaching and start my own business.

In sport, I would like to make the most of all opportunities that come my way and play to the best of my ability.

What did you want to be when you were younger?

My parents were both in the police so it was likely that I would go in that direction too. But I was not so enthusiastic when I realised that I wouldn’t get many weekends off. Another of my ambitions when I was younger was to play for Manchester United.

Who has been the biggest influence on you and how?

My father has been the strongest influence on my sporting life so far especially in my rugby; but my grandfather, who once held the Welsh mile record, also influenced me in a very positive way. My mother’s influence was to make me more determined and positive.

What have been your biggest achievements in rugby?

When I played for the Mumbles Youth XV we won the Swansea Cup and the league and then won the Trimsaran junior 7s all in one season. When I was at Trinity St. David’s, Carmarthen, we won everything that we took part in and went the whole season unbeaten. We played in Division 2 of the BUCS, winning the cup. We played the second XVs of the major colleges and universities. During my time with Mumbles I was selected to play for Swansea against Swansea University in a pre-season warm-up match.

What has been your biggest disappointment?

Lacking confidence in myself when I was younger. Not believing in myself.

What do you like doing when you’re not working, training or playing rugby?

Not much! Watching rugby or football or some TV perhaps.

Do you cook? What is your favourite dish to cook?

No I don’t cook at all. I once (and only once) made a chicken risotto for my family with some help. They all ate it! I think I’m better at washing up to be honest.

If you were a contestant on Bake Off, what would you cook?

Beans on Toast!

Which of your team-mates at Aber would you like to see competing on Strictly?

Steff Rees, because of his looks, his charm and his footwork. I’d especially love to see him dance the Tango - it’s written all over him.

What is your favourite TV programme and film actor?

Breaking Bad and Tom Hanks.

And your favourite music?

I like a wide range of music but especially Hip Hop and R & B. (For those over 50, Hip Hop is a genre of music and should not be confused with hip replacement treatment.)

Do you have ambitions to travel? If so, where to? (Matthew had a five- week holiday in New Zealand in November/December 2016.)

Yes I would love to see the world! I have been to all the continents apart from South America. I’d particularly love to see Argentina and Brazil.

What matters most to you in your life outside rugby?

My family, friends and girlfriend.

Who do you consider to be the best sportsperson ever?

Ryan Giggs overall and Shane Williams in rugby.

If you had one wish what would it be?

To be able to eat and drink anything I wanted to without putting on weight. Also, I’d like to be able to speak a foreign language – preferably French.

If you could be the best looking man in the world, which front-row forward would you choose to look like?

Dimitri Szarzewski, the Racing Metro and France hooker. (Sorry Matthew, this was a trick question and you slipped up. There is no better looking front row forward than Ken Owens, the Scarlets and Wales hooker!! Never mind, you’re a threequarter, so what would you know about good looking front row forwards.)

If you could possess one key skill in life (apart from being a prop forward) what would that be?

To be able to take place kicks at goal and never miss.

Do you think that you will ever be a good enough player to be a front row forward?

Gareth Flynn is a typical front row forward as he is very intelligent! But I will never make a front row player; I like a running game with no physical contact. I’d ban scrums if I had my way. (Matthew is now available on a free transfer to any club that wants him for that last remark.)

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