Youth football expert can take advantage of academy gaps at Kinetic Academy

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…

Premier League academies across the country often spend big money to sign attacking players but youth football expert Harry Hudson sees things differently.

The Sevenoaks manager is also the founder of the Kinetic Academy based in South London which has played a major role in giving young people a chance to follow their footballing dreams.

Other than a few midfielders and attackers though, a lot of the foundation’s graduates have been defenders and Hudson thinks the investment in academy attacks is a key reason why.

“A large bias of our boys sign tend to be defenders,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids. “Why? I don’t necessarily know if I’m being honest.

“I suppose it could be because if there is investment in squads at the academy level it tends to be in attacking positions or players that catch the eye.

“So there is probably a bias there with attacking players being pushed to the front and they then tend to take up space so there is often gaps that appear in defensive positions.

“A lot of young people grow up playing in cages and so they don’t look up at players who play in defensive positions, they want to be like (Jadon) Sancho and players like that.

“So when we get them in at 16 or so, we see them as a raw product with typically fantastic athleticism and good technique in tight areas but they might actually be better placed to be a full-back.

“It’s something we’ve done quite often actually because Omar (Richards) came to us as a right winger but being left-footed, you tend to gravitate towards left-back.”

Richards signed for Nottingham Forest from Bayern Munich this summer but he began in the Kinetic Academy before he signed for Reading prior to his Bundesliga switch.

In other Kinetic Academy news, another defensive graduate of the foundation, who is now at Southampton, can bully his opponents, according to Hudson.