Cardiff legend Mark Hudson opens up about coaching after a brilliant EFL career

In football, it’s best to finish high.

The final act of Mark Hudson’s career came at Wembley in May 2017, climbing the famous ladder to lift the play-off final championship trophy with Huddersfield Teammate Tommy Smith.

The Terriers just beat Reading on penalties to secure a spot in Premier League for the first time since the prestige department was established in 1992.

After pondering my retirement for a while, it was there, where Hudson decided to hang up his shoes and become a full-time coach.

“I had a conversation with a close family about my transition [into coaching] will go,” said Hudson Mirror Football.

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The final act of Mark Hudson’s playing career was lifting the trophy in the play-off final against teammate Tommy Smith at Huddersfield.


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“If we get promoted, could it be the last one?”

“I said to my wife, kids and agent on my way to get the medal, ‘That’s it.’ And they say, “Just go and focus on enjoying yourself.”

Huddersfield have achieved promotion under remarkable circumstances, with none of their players scoring in three play-offs against Sheffield Wednesday and Reading.

Their only goal in the semi-final second leg was an own goal by Wednesday defender Tom Lees, while the final went goalless.

Despite being the club captain, Hudson was left on the bench during the Wembley clash. It was a difficult experience for the centre-back, who could do nothing to affect the outcome.

“Obviously it’s not cool to sit there and watch! Nerves – you can’t do anything about it when you’re sitting on either side.”

However, Hudson took great pride in seeing his teammates succeed. Huddersfield had no chance of promotion at the start of the campaign, but they have always had ambitions to do so.

“The team has done a great job in the season, such a long season… the club and the staff have put together a plan for how we are going to get there. [promotion].

“Winning a penalty, that becomes a lottery. But that moment when the final penalty comes, it’s [a feeling of] relieved because – before the excitement begins – you think, ‘We made it.’

“The pressure is now gone – and it will sink in the next few minutes, hours and days compared to what you’ve achieved.”

Hudson started his career at FulhamOnly made three appearances before joining League One with Oldham Athletic on loan and starting from there.

His impressive performances in Lancashire were convincing Crystal Palace manager Iain Dowie signed him on loan in January 2004.

At the time, the Eagles were 18th in the Championship and were more likely to be relegated to third than win promotion.

However, Hudson joined Palace at the right time. His debut was memorable Watford 5-1 at Vicarage Road to trigger their lead.

He lost just two of his 14 league games, leaving Dowie’s side with just three points from the playoffs when his loan came to an end.

Palace continues to win promotion, beat West Ham 1-0 in the play-off final. Although Hudson did not make an appearance, he can be credited for playing a key role in their victory.

Hudson played for Fulham, Oldham, Crystal Palace, Charlton, Cardiff and Huddersfield during game days


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“You can get in shape; you can get a unit that builds cohesion and a team relationship that builds confidence over time. I think we’ve done that at Palace and that’s it. that was a great success.

“To be able to do that in such a long season – the Championship is a brutal season, so many games … it’s so dense and fast – is a huge achievement.”

Hudson went on to sign a permanent contract with Palace in the summer, although injury left him with just seven Premier League appearances during the 2005-06 campaign.

He was eventually appointed captain, a role he would also fulfill at his next club Charlton and Cardiff – joined the Welsh outfit in the summer of 2009.

Hudson went on to become a legend in south Wales, leading Cardiff to the 2012 League Cup final – losing on penalties Liverpool – and promotion to the Premier League.

Achieving the top-flight title in the 2012-13 season was the highlight of the former defender’s career. He was named the club’s Player of the Year and was included in the PFA Team of the Year.

However, the success of the new team was what pleased Hudson most – winning the title with eight points.

“Personal praise is very good, but clearly the team is ahead. To get the reward of promotion is the pinnacle of that.

Hudson was Cardiff’s captain and player of the year when they won promotion to the Premier League 2012-13


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“It’s great to be the mainstay of that season, but to know your team has achieved something together is the main feeling.

“The fact that we did it as a team and were so united over the course of a long season – those are the main things that you hold on to. We all played our part and created. a close relationship with us ever since.”

Injury again limited Hudson’s Premier League minutes, appearing only twice as Cardiff are relegated in the future Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

During that campaign, Hudson noted: “I got injured at the end of the season we were promoted and may not be as fit as I was before my return.

“Did it affect me? Maybe. It took me longer than it should have been to get in the best possible fitness? Probably yes. And then the team did well.

“You can just look back on those things and say what you could have done, but at the time it was all the more difficult.”

Hudson was allowed to join Huddersfield after Cardiff were relegated. After his three-year stint ended with promotion and retirement, he moved into coaching.

Hudson’s desire to become a coach began in his late 20s, when he began to ponder what path to choose when his playing career ended.

Hudson is currently the first team coach at Cardiff and was in charge of looking after Huddersfield during their time in the Premier League


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“As soon as I turned 30, that’s what I’ve been pretty focused on… it’s been a journey, to be exact.

“It’s something you’re always learning, in different environments and with different people.

“It’s something that I’m really passionate about. I love what I’m doing. I think you have to enjoy yourself and love what you’re doing for it to work and last. Maybe it will continue. .”

Hudson is currently a first-team coach at Cardiff, working alongside former Wales striker Steve Morison.

The Bluebirds icon was previously a care manager at Huddersfield and doesn’t rule out becoming a future promiscuous.

“Where I am now, I’m really happy with what I’m doing: supporting the people here and being part of a growing unit.

“That’s what I always say in any interview or anyone who asks. One day, maybe, I want to be a manager – but there’s no rush.

“I don’t want to rush towards its development… being part of an exciting unit, united and having the same kind of values ​​and belief in the way the game is played is great.”

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