THE BIG KICK-OFF: New boy Hughes has been quick to impress
The best Peterborough United performer during pre-season?
New strike partners Shaquile Coulthirst and Paul Taylor have scored goals, goalkeeper Ben Alnwick has been in outstanding form, while young Leo Da Silva Lopes has played well enough to tempt Premier League scouts to the ABAX Stadium.
But has anyone been more consistently impressive than new left-sided defender Andrew Hughes? Not really.
The 24 year-old has been so good the failure to persuade Callum Elder to return to Posh has been shrugged off by the club’s fans.
Hughes was picked up from League Two side Newport County in the summer. He’d fallen out of contract at a club he’d helped to two promotions and made a speedy decision to move up a division once he’d spoken to a former County team-mate.
“I called Conor Washington as he had made the same move as me,” Hughes revealed. “And he couldn’t speak highly enough of the club. He told me it would be agreat move and that was good enough for me as I trust his opinion.
“I had great times at Newport. I was there for five seasons and we won two promotions so the only memories I have are good ones.
“But it was time for a new challenge and, after speaking to Conor, it was a no-brainer to move to Peterborough.
“It’s a higher division, they are a strong team at this level and the manager’s reputation in the game is very good. It was an offer I couldn’t turn down. Every player wants to test themselves at a higher level.
“Grant McCann made it obvious early doors what he wants and that’s promotion. All the players are tuned into that and determined to have a real go to make it happen
“I know he wants another left-back, but that’s okay with me. I play my best football when I have competition for my place.
“Anyway I have played the last three years as a centreback so I’m versatile.
“I settled in really quickly because they are a good bunch of lads here and pre-season has gone really well for us.
“I’ve played in the National League so I know how tough teams in that division are and we’ve tested ourselves against Championship sides.
“We’ve won games which is also important.”
Transfers between Posh and Newport have been rare. Centre-back Keith Oakes played in the European Cup Winners Cup for the Welsh club after leaving London Road.
Others to have played for both clubs include Souleymane Coulibaly, Alan Waddle, Paul Bradshaw, Joe Day, John Cornforth and Andy Legg.