Wakefield Trinity Wildcats are pleased to announce Ryan Hudson has joined the club as the new Youth Development Manager after retiring from playing at the end of this season.
The former Wildcats player has been brought into the club after hanging up his boots at Castleford Tigers who were one of a number of clubs interested in his services beyond his playing days.
Hudson’s role will be overseeing talent identification, academy coaches and setting structures and systems in place to improve the already impressive youth setup at the Rapid Solicitors Stadium.
Hudson represented Great Britain and Yorkshire during his playing career as well as spells at Huddersfield Giants in addition to his time at Wakefield and Castleford.
He already runs the Elite Rugby Academy along with former Tigers team mate Danny Orr that is aimed at children aged 4-11, whilst his coaching background at local amateur club Stanley Rangers saw him coach now Wildcats captain Danny Kirmond.
As well as his playing and coaching history, Hudson is also a qualified personal trainer, sports nutritionist & masseur and clinical hypnotherapist. His wide range of knowledge, skills and experience is sure to be a fantastic asset to the club’s young talents looking to forge a career in the game.
The 32-year-old doesn’t officially start his role until December but has already been working hard to get plenty of preparation done so he can hit the ground running when he does take up his post.
“I am really excited about the future,” he said.
“I am looking forward to helping the kids and working with the youth development to see them develop into first team, full-time players which will be great.
“The club approached me and I like the idea of working with the youth side of things. It wasn’t so much the coaching but more managing and putting systems in place and developing a youth structure.”
“I will be getting out there and building relationships with amateur clubs and we want kids coming to Wakefield Wildcats. We want to put systems in place that will attract them and stop them going to the likes of Leeds, Wigan and Saints.
“John Kain (Wildcats Player Performance Manager) is doing a great job with the Scholarship at the moment so obviously we’ll be working together and ultimately we want to create the best youth system in the competition. This is not going to happen overnight and we have a 3-5 year plan and ultimately it would be nice for that to come through sooner and quicker but things do take time.
“We want to produce the next Gareth Ellis that Wakefield found years ago. Gaz came through here and you only have to look at what he has gone on to do in the game.”
The former hooker made over 50 appearances in the red, white and blue in a two-year spell, and is excited to be returning to a club that is very much on an upward curve.
“Obviously Andrew Glover has put money into the club and off the field the club is going places.
“Rome wasn’t built in a day, things do take time and ultimately fans want success on the field straight away and this year they have had it. We have to get things in place now to get kids through and we need a conveyor belt in the next 3-5 years coming into the first team for the future.
“I do believe it’s a club going forward on the field and off the field so hopefully I can be an integral part of that.”
Chief Executive Elston was delighted that Hudson has opted to start the next stage of his career in the game with the Wildcats.
“The fact that there were other Super League clubs talking to Ryan about him joining their organisations really highlights that he has many qualities that he will bring to the table for our youth development programme,” commented Elston.
“He’s been through a lot in the game as a professional and his experiences fresh from being involved at the elite level will be great for our young players to learn from.
“We want to make sure that the best young players in this area are coming to Wakefield and want to play for their local club. With the systems and structures Ryan will look to put in place alongside John Kain, we will make the Wildcats an even more attractive proposition for young talent and in time will see more and more coming through the ranks into the first team following the likes of Matty Wildie, Kyle Trout and Lucas Walshaw who have done just that in the last couple of years.”
This is Wakefield. Together We Are Stronger.