Give Me a Chance

Wednesday 21 May 2003

Academy graduate Mark Hudson is hoping Chris Coleman's appointment as Manager will give him the opportunity to break into the First Team squad on a more regular basis.

The young centre half is highly rated having played a significant part in the reserves' race for the title that ultimately ended with a runners up spot. Coleman's run as caretaker manager has certainly given Mark an indication that he is in the new Manager's plans.

"When Cookie took over I was moved up into the first team squad," said Mark. "It was really pleasing when I made it into the matchday squad on a number of occasions. I really need someone to give me a chance to prove myself in the first team. Chris Coleman has spoken to me and I know that he rates me really highly."

Undoubtedly Mark is also hoping that his former Academy Director, Steve Kean, now Assistant Manager, will be aware of what he has to offer. "Steve has also helped me a lot so I've got a lot to thank him for. They have said that I should be given a run in the first team next season."

Mark has nothing but praise for the Academy set-up from which he graduated, and thinks the Club will soon be benefiting from some of its products. "It's totally different now. With the regime that's in place you can't help but progress.

"The coaches and the facilities here are really good - everything here is set up in order to develop the skill of the players. Dean Leacock is another really good defender who has proved himself and that's where I want to see myself heading. There are a few other lads who can come through if they keep their heads down and work hard."

Mark was spotted as a teenager when his club at the time, Swindon, met Fulham. "I was at Swindon when I was about 13, I played a game against Fulham and they asked me to come down for some training.

"I came to the Club at about 14 but took a year out because I wasn't really enjoying it. When I came back I wasn't offered a YTS because I didn't progress quick enough. I took the knock-back and stayed at college because it's always useful to have an academic side to fall back on. I was then told that I was going to be given a professional contract and it's gone from there. "

Let's hope for a good Cup run next season so that Mark and some of his Academy colleagues get a chance to prove themselves in the first team.