Youth football expert sees Kinetic Academy reach grow after Sky documentary

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…

The Kinetic Academy has done wonderful things for the youth football scene in London and that has seen Sky Sports take note.

The Premier League and Football League broadcaster recently did a comprehensive documentary about how the academy came to be and where it is now.

Since its inception in 2011, 62 players have gone from the streets of South London to a professional contract and even though some have drifted back into non-league, others have gone on to great things.

Most notably, Joe Aribo and Omar Richards are now Premier League players while Rhys Norrington-Davies will be hoping for a call-up to the Wales squad for the Qatar World Cup in November.

The foundation’s founder, Harry Hudson, has been delighted with the exposure Sky were able to provide his academy and he says that the interest from other youngsters has increased as a result.

“It was really lovely to have that article from Sky,” Hudson exclusively told The Football Wonderkids. “It was great for us because they took the time to say the whole story, not just focus on the likes of Joe Aribo and others we’ve had sign.

“That doesn’t often happen with the mainstream media because they always tend to want the sexy article about the boys who move on and make it as a pro and that is a massive outcome of what we do but there are so many others we try to have an impact on.

“Since then, we’ve had more applications than usual to join the programme and our community sessions have been much better attended so it really helps us to build our profile and the more young people who come across us, hopefully, the more positive change we can create in society.

“We were also on ‘South of the River’ which has now moved to Netflix which is where most of the demographic we are aiming at watch most of their content rather than BT Sport.”

Kinetic have partnered with three different non-league sides to compete in the FA Youth Cup this season having reached the second round last term with Corinthian Casuals before being beaten by Wigan Athletic.

In other Kinetic Academy news, another graduate of the programme recently rejected a Championship move but Hudson backs him to make the right choice.