Youth football expert sees South London as 'hotbed' of football talent
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…
Kinetic Academy founder, Harry Hudson, knows more than the majority about youth football in South London and why there is such talent in the area.
He began his charity to help underprivileged teenagers make it into the professional game and having grown up in South London, and played non-league football in the area too, it was the natural birthplace for his dream.
Since its inception in 2011, 58 players have gone on to sign professional terms from the Kinetic Academy with the biggest success story being Joe Aribo who scored for Rangers in the Europa League final last season.
Hudson believes the highly multi-cultural society that resides south of the River Thames is a large reason why there is so many talented youngsters emerging from the region.
“I think it’s multi-faceted,” Hudson told The Football Wonderkids. “There is definitely masses of talent.
“You’ve got South American influences, you’ve got African influences, you’ve, of course, got English and European influences.
“They’re all thrown together from a young age in small-sided cage football which develops flair and certain skillsets that rubs off on each other.
“We’re creating players now that, when I was younger, would be playing for Brazil or Argentina. That’s the kind of culture that they’re growing up with.
“There has been a massive shift in the professional game too and how they are looking at these players.
“There is a lot of players back in the day that would have been missed because they would have been perceived as trick ponies.
“There is certainly a lot of reason why there is such a prevalence of South London footballers now playing professional football, it’s definitely a hotbed.”
The latest graduate of the Kinetic Academy is Makhaya James who has penned a professional contract with Colchester United in League Two.
In other Kinetic Academy news, Hudson has not ruled out the possibility of his charity branching out into other sports or areas of the UK in the future.