Youth football expert won't allow Kinetic Academy to work with just one club

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…

Youth football in the UK, London in particular, would look very different if it weren’t for the work done by the Kinetic Academy.

Set up by Harry Hudson in 2011, Kinetic have seen 63 players go from the streets of London to a professional contract in the English or Scottish football pyramid with some even heading abroad.

One of the main men that helped get the project going was Southampton’s new Head of Recruitment Joe Shields who grew up with Hudson before they both ventured into the world of football.

Despite their close connection, Hudson is not going to allow his academy to lean more towards one club when it comes to finding the right place for a specific player, no matter what friends may be involved.

“We will always try to have good links with as many clubs as we can,” Hudson said exclusively to The Football Wonderkids. “And that will still be the case regardless of Joe being there.

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“We’ve worked with Southampton before because we have a young lad called Nico Lawrence playing there already before Joe arrived so we’ve got a strong link there.

“We won’t be affiliated with just one club or work more with one specific club because we want to work with as many as possible.

“Ultimately, what’s right for one club might not be right for the young person and what’s right for them might not be for the club so if we only worked with a handful of clubs, that’s not going to give the most amount of opportunities for our young people.

“So we will be widening our net as far as we possibly can and that will hopefully mean that the right opportunity will match the right individual at the right time.”

Shields has already overseen a stellar summer at St Mary’s with the likes of Sam Edozie, Romeo Lavia and Gavin Bazunu all coming in and excelling under Ralph Hasenhuttl.

In other Kinetic Academy news, Yeboah Amankwah is a graduate of the foundation and Hudson thinks the time is right for him to leave Manchester City.