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Exciting moves for Mark Hudson, Conor Coady, and Darren Byfield

From the Bluebirds to the Blades: Mark Hudson joins Paul Heckingbottom’s backroom staff


After Cardiff City parted ways with then-manager Mark Hudson in early 2023, a two-part video capturing his family’s reaction to the initial appointment and subsequent sacking went viral. 

The first clip, from November 2021, shows Hudson’s sons congratulating him as he tells them: “I got the assistant [manager] job at Cardiff City.” In the second clip, taken 14 months later, the former Bluebirds captain is seen comforting his sons as he shares the news of his dismissal with them: “Don’t worry — that’s football.”

Months later, Hudson reflected in an interview: “Waking up three days after leaving Cardiff, I wanted to be back. Whether that’s as a coach in a unit, head coach or manager. There are so many different ways of doing it that I find fascinating.”

Now, the 41-year-old Football Careers client has the opportunity to bring his extensive experience and unique skillset to the Premier League as he takes up the role of defensive coach with Paul Heckingbottom’s Sheffield United. 

Hudson — who made over 400 professional appearances as a player for the likes of Crystal Palace, Charlton Athletic, Cardiff City, and Huddersfield Town — told Sheffield United’s website:

“I’m delighted to be here and join as we move into the Premier League.

“I’ve spoken to Hecky (Paul Heckingbottom) a few times. When Hecky and Jack (Lester) were in the Academy, I came across and watched them for a few days, and I’ve kept in contact since then really.

“I got a phone call a couple of weeks ago, had a good chat over the phone with Hecky, then came in and discussed the role and his expectations, including what I can add to the group — because all the staff have specific roles and areas of the team to focus on.”

With Jack Lester leading the strikers, assistant manager Stuart McCall overseeing midfield, and Matt Duke as goalkeeper coach, Hudson’s addition to the club means Heckingbottom now has expertise in each area of the squad ahead of what promises to be an exciting Premier League campaign for Sheffield United.

Conor Coady, Leicester City
Image: Leicester City FC
Conor Coady signs a three-year deal with Leicester City


Leicester City has confirmed the signing of a three-year deal for central defender Conor Coady. 

The 30-year-old Football Careers client joins the Foxes from Wolverhampton Wanderers, where he made more than 300 appearances for the club between 2015 and 2022. During that time, Coady captained Wolves to a Premier League promotion in 2017/18, helped them to qualify for European competition in 2018/19, and played every minute of their UEFA Europa League campaign in 2019/20.

Coady — who has represented England internationally on 10 occasions — had spells at Liverpool, Sheffield United, and Huddersfield Town before signing for Wolves. After seven years at the club, Coady signed a loan contract with Everton, where he spent the 2022/23 season. Speaking to LCFC TV about his new move, Coady said:

“I’ve played against the club numerous times and it’s so, so hard playing against Leicester City. That’s something we need to take into the season. This place is incredible, I think it’s the best training ground I’ve ever seen in my life. It’s got absolutely everything so there are no excuses for us going forward into the new campaign.

“Knowing a few of the lads here as well and how they speak of the football club, but looking at Leicester City as a whole, it’s such an exciting place to be. I’m massively excited about joining so it wasn’t a hard decision. As soon as I heard of the interest, it was something I wanted to pursue. I can’t wait to get started.”

Coady will now join his teammates to begin preparing for the new Sky Bet Championship season, which begins at home to Coventry City on Sunday 6th August.

Darren Byfield, Walsall FC
Image: Crawley Town FC
Darren Byfield returns to Walsall as first-team coach


EFL League Two side Walsall has appointed ex-striker Darren Byfield as its new first-team coach. The 46-year-old Football Careers client leaves his first-team coach role at Crawley Town to return to the Saddlers, where he is tasked with strengthening the Academy’s link to the senior side in addition to his first-team duties.

Byfield made his Premier League debut with Aston Villa in 1997 after graduating from the club’s Academy. He first signed for Walsall in 2000 and over two spells at the club, he scored 27 goals in 152 games — including the winning goal against Reading in the 2001 play-off final as the Saddlers won promotion to the second tier. 

The former striker moved on to Rotherham United in 2002, then played for the likes of Sunderland, Millwall, Doncaster Rovers, and Oldham Athletic before rejoining Walsall for a second stint from 2009 to 2011. He hung up his boots in 2017 and has since gained managerial experience in roles with Redditch United, Stratford Town, Walsall Wood, and Alvechurch. Commenting on the new appointment, Byfield said:

“I spoke with the gaffer and I am really excited about his thoughts and ideas about what we will be doing this season, so I am really looking forward to it. My aim is to try and improve this team and this football club and get us back to where we want to be.”

“My experience last year with Crawley will hopefully help me in this role. It’s having the knowledge of knowing the teams and players that you are playing against, it is a big thing.”

Walsall will open the new season with an away fixture to Morecambe on Saturday 5th August.

What our clients say about Football Careers


Mark Hudson: “I got introduced to Managing Director Piero Carrino through David Marshall at Cardiff City a long time ago, and then again when I was finishing up my UEFA A Licence. So at that time, you begin to think of your CV. At my A Licence, Piero did a superb presentation and that set me thinking.

“My CV looks brilliant and the fact that Football Careers are so well regarded by the Welsh FA meant a lot to me because I rate how I have been treated in my licences there very highly. If the Welsh FA backed them, that was enough for me. My CV has set me up for my journey for sure.”

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