Declan Rudd grew up in Norfolk, joining Norwich City’s academy at a young age and rising through the ranks to the first team as a professional. During that time, he also played for England through to U21 level alongside the likes of Luke Shaw & Jack Butland. Following 21 senior appearances for Norwich city, many of which were in the premier league, and loan spells at both Charlton & Preston, Declan signed for Preston at the start of this season. We spoke to Declan about the launch of his academy project:
Being from the area, I consider Norwich home and still come back regularly. I also count myself lucky i was one of a small group of players in my year who had the opportunity to play in the club’s academy, had i not, there would of been few options for me, so that’s something i wanted to address for other local players. My friend and business partner Loui previously ran a football academy in Norfolk and i went to visit the players sometimes. It was something i thought would be an enjoyable project and be able to give back!
I’ll be heading up the goalkeeping academy, working closely with the coaches and planning the programme for the players. I’ve been pretty hands on in the overall planning and i’m really excited to come back and deliver some training sessions too!
I want to be able to share my experience from working with top coaches and offer that to young players, regardless of their ability levels. We’ve carefully planned goalkeeping sessions to teach the fundamental skills, as well as advanced techniques, to offer a full programme from 6 years old up to 17. We want to scale this across the country and i’d love to have a centre in Diss where I’m from!
Firstly, we’re using the latest technology to be able to offer video playback. It’s something we do as professionals, and the ability for players to watch instant videos of themselves can help correct technique. We’re also using some really clever equipment to simulate game situations, and working in small groups to offer specialised training. We’ve invested a lot of time in developing the sessions, so i hope the players enjoy them.