Youth football expert sees 'bias' towards specific type of player in academies

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…

One of the main components of youth football is clubs snapping up the best talent available and Harry Hudson has seen a bias in places.

The Sevenoaks FC manager in non-league also founded the Kinetic Academy which has recently had its 60th player graduate to a professional contract when Sutton United of League Two signed Jake Tones, as announced on Twitter.

But after 11 years of helping young people in South London break into professional football, a trend has started to appear in the type of players that earn their contracts in the footballing pyramid.

“In terms of what we get asked for from academies, there is a bias towards left-sided players,” Hudson said exclusively to The Football Wonderkids. “They are harder to find.

“If a young player is a centre-forward but they’re left-footed, quite often we will think that if they have the attributes to become a left-back we’ll do that.

“I think it is easier to teach the game as a defender than it is to give someone something as an attacker and that has been a trend of players graduating from us.

“Myles Kenlock was the first as a left-sided defender but he joined us as a midfield player, Ali Koiki was a winger and went to left-back, Rhys Norrington-Davis as well and Omar Richards.

“There are loads of examples of it and thankfully it has been quite successful for them by converting them later in their careers.”

Richards is the most advanced in his career of the aforementioned players having just signed for Nottingham Forest following a year in the Bundesliga with champions Bayern Munich.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson believes that way Southampton play will be the perfect fit for former graduate Joe Aribo after his big-money move to the South Coast.