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Glasgow Rangers new London based academy opens


London Rangers FC, official partners of Glasgow Rangers FC, have appointed Allen Hudson as their Head Coach to their newly opened Youth Academy.

When in 1991 Alan Ball was sacked by Stoke City and replaced by Graham Paddon, twenty year old Allen Hudson was told that he was welcome to remain at the club as a player, however he would not get a game. That was a defining moment in the young man’s life. Disillusionment in the game took over, not content with being at a club and being discarded for selection, was a disparaging thought.

Together with his younger brother Anthony (presently manager of the New Zealand national side), there was an element of expectation in their lives, being the sons of former Chelsea, Stoke City, Arsenal, Seattle Sounders and England’s legendary midfielder, Alan Hudson.


At the age of thirteen Allen attended Le Chaux de Fonds School of Excellence in Switzerland, before returning to England a year later to West London and the Fulham school of Excellence. In 1988 Allen was a member of the West London under 16’s side that won the English Schools Cup.  On leaving school he was granted an apprenticeship at Everton and later moving on to Coventry City, Arsenal and finally Stoke City, where he finally turned his back on football, walking away with a sour taste in his mouth at the whole concept of the game.

By the age of twenty three, finding it difficult to cope with what he looked upon as a failure, Allen turned his back on football. His life having drifted downwards. For twenty years he struggled by, his life in disarray.

Picking himself up, in 2011 Allen joined his brother who was then manager of Newport County, scouting for the club. After leaving the South Wales club Allen scouted for the Bahrain National side until 2014. After passing the PSFA 1, 2 and 3 badges Allen joined up again his brother, scouting for the New Zealand national side in addition to being the team’s analyst.

With the feel good factor back in his mind set the decision was made to look to do something positive and make things right. Therefore, taking a positive step forward Allen sent out applications to academies up and down the country seeking a scouting position, in the hope of helping those youngsters who have aspirations of playing at the highest levels.

Allen was approached by London Rangers FC (official partners of Glasgow Rangers FC) chairman Terry Springer and was duly offered a scouting position. For the rejuvenated Hudson though, this was never going to be enough, driven by his new found ambition he bombarded Springer with his ideas. It was immediately evident that they held similar aspirations, to drive the club forward.

Eventually, realising that Allen was not one of those individuals who was just going to go through the motions, his energy and enthusiasm would not allow that, the chairman offered his newly acquired scout the opportunity to help in the assembling of the clubs youth academy.

Asked what he hopes to achieve an enthusiastic Hudson explains:


“The academy’s aims are to get the kids technically better on the ball and tactically better off of the ball and with hard work and the right ethos will get us were we deserve to be. We’re only having a smallish squad because I want all my players to have game time. I don’t like the thought of kids being at clubs and not playing. We’re striving to get them at the highest level possible and I feel I’m the man to get that out of them. And I want to take this club for where we were 3 weeks ago to the highest possible level.”

“We have under 16 internationals including those from Australia and Lithuania when, all we were supposed to do was look for talent over the local park. I want big. I want to be taken seriously and I want my lads to feel and want the same. I want them to make mistakes on the pitch, as that is how we improve as a team and individually. We shall attempt to instil morals and manners and I can personally deal with the psychological strains on the players simply because I have lived it and my door will always remain open. I had over 60 requests from players to join us. Unfortunately I can’t take them all but that door will never be a closed one and they will always come along on open days and we will have a look. I’m putting these boys in the shop window as such”.

“My player requirements are they need to want to learn and allow themselves to grow as a person and in the game. Of course they will require some ability but, that doesn’t always make players. The will and belief to succeed and team ethos are a must. With a smile, hard work and guile.

At present the coaching staff consists of himself and Adam Thornton, who has had plentiful experience within the game. However, former team mate at Crewe Alexandra and Sheffield Wednesday, Andy Kelsey, of whom Bobby Robson said was, “One of the best centre forwards he had seen for his age”, as a youngster, who is keen to join the coaching staff. In addition there will hopefully be some assistance from former Chelsea players, Frank Sinclair and Paul Canoville.

The FA have been quite helpful and the side will be allotted a place in the FA Cup competition from next season.

London Rangers FC club chairman sent this statement endorsing Allen’s recruitment.

I’ve always worked with young people not in Education or Training via my work in my local church. Many of the boys played football and I supported them the best I could. In 2008 I became chairman of Ruislip Manor FC, who lost their home ground after financial problems, on the request of a board member. The next few year was the harsh reality of non-league football no ground and no real income. 

Many mistakes were made but many lessons learnt.

A new model was born combining the education of young people with their passion for football. We became a DfE registered school early in 2017. We contacted various football clubs to partner with us but it was Glasgow Rangers that committed to sending a coach monthly, provide coach education and Talent ID days.

We have qualified teachers and a great first team manager Paul Aigbogun who has coached Nigeria’s Under 17 on a part-time basis, Nevada Wonders in the USA League (seniors head coach), Bury of England’s Division II, Holywell Town FC of the Welsh Premier Division and Portssmadog FC of Wales as well.

Now with Allen Hudson providing the club with his vast experience and contacts, we have an education team and a football coaching team that will enable each young person to reach their full

It’s happened before in 1880 members of St. Mark’s Church of England, West Gorton, Manchester, founded the football club that would become known as Manchester City, for largely humanitarian purposes.

Terry Springer

Glasgow Rangers London Chairman.

Without wanting to purposefully emulate his brother’s recent achievements, Allen will be determined to prove, not to others, but himself that the tide has turned. With hard work and commitment much can be achieved and along with himself the connections of London Rangers FC appear to have that in abundance.

Life has definitely at last taken off again for the once disillusioned Hudson. One can only wish him well in his new venture, what can be certain his knowledge and experience will fare him well.

Chris Luke