Indian Super League side Kerala Blasters may not be having a great ISL 2016 and losing a key player for some crucial matches could be a major worry for coach Steve Coppell. Marquee player Aaron Hughes, a veteran footballer for Northern Ireland, has received a national team call for two 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.
The 36-year-old no-nonsense defender, who has played the most part of his career in the English Premier League, will be missing two home games for Kerala Blasters this month. According to Goal, the matches are against FC Goa on November 8 and against Chennaiyin FC on November 12 in the return leg fixture of the South India derby.
Northern Ireland football team, coached by Michael O'Neill, take on Azerbaijan and Croatia in the two FIFA World Cup qualifiers from the UEFA confederation on November 11 and November 15 respectively. Both the games will be played at the Windsor Park in Belfast, Ireland.
Hughes, who made his international debut in 1998 at the age of 18, has 104 caps for Northern Ireland and is the second most capped footballer in the country's history. He plied his trade in the Euro 2016 and recently also featured for the entire 90 minutes of play against Germany in the World Cup qualifiers last month.
The veteran defender has made five appearances in ISL 2016 so far. Kerala Blasters currently have nine points from seven games this season and they surely have to make a turnaround now to try and achieve their aim of making it to the ISL 2016 knockouts stage.