Youth football expert backs Kinetic graduate Rhys Norrington-Davies for Premier League future

We’re delighted to welcome the founder of Kinetic Academy Harry Hudson as our exclusive columnist. Each week the youth football expert will be giving his views on the biggest talking points on wonderkids across the UK…

Sheffield United full-back Rhys Norrington-Davies could play at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar and youth football expert Harry Hudson knows him well.

The Sevenoaks manager runs the Kinetic Academy which the 23-year-old joined after being released by Swansea City at 16 and saw a dramatic progression both on and off the pitch for the Welshman.

Norrington-Davies went from a small midfield player to a physically dominant defender which saw the Blades pick him up in 2018 and he has had a number of loan moves since then.

The latest of which saw him play for Stoke City in the Championship but his big breakthrough came in the Nations League as he scored for Wales against the Netherlands.

“It’s phenomenal and he scored in the recent Nations League games too,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids. “Rhys has had a very exciting journey having come to us at 16 and he was really, really small.

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“He’d been at Swansea for a long time and over a two-year period with us he doubled his weight through both height and muscle.

“He also moved from a small village in Wales to London so went through big changes socially and his development as an overall person was really drastic.

“By the end of his time with us, just before he went to Sheffield United, he had really strong self-confidence, borderline arrogance.

“He’s a natural competitor and by the time he left us he was a proper rig, a real athlete and I’d like to think Rhys will play in the Premier League one day and if he can break into the Welsh national team, that might be the springboard for him.”

Sheffield United are among the favourites to gain promotion to the Premier League next season having just missed out via the playoffs last season to Nottingham Forest.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson believes there is a bias within top academies towards a certain type of player which leaves gaps for his foundation to exploit.