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New Zealand boss Anthony Hudson linked with Norwich City vacancy

PUBLISHED: 13:08 16 March 2017 | UPDATED: 17:52 16 March 2017

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A new name has entered the frame for the role of Norwich City's next manager - Anthony Hudson.

The 36-year-old is currently the New Zealand national coach, but The Sun claims City chairman Ed Balls and Hudson’s representatives have already held “informal conversations”.

Hudson is London-born but never cracked it in professional football. He coached and managed in America then headed home, working under Harry Redknapp at Tottenham. He was made coach at Welsh side Newport County, moved to Bahrain where he managed the national Under 23 and senior teams. He was made New Zealand manager in August 2014.

Hudson was strongly linked with the vacancy at Derby County before Steve McClaren’s second spell last October and turned down the MK Dons job last year.

SunSport say they have been told Hudson is keen to return to English football if the right opportunity is available and is on a five-candidate shortlist that includes former England boss Roy Hodgson, Alan Pardew, Nigel Pearson and Alan Irvine.

While the cynical may wonder who Hudson is, a brief look at that fount of all knowledge, Wikipedia, suggests he has friends in high places. Redknapp gave him a “glittering reference” for the Newport job, apparently, and likened him to “a young Jose Mourinho”. He earned his Uefa Pro Licence, the highest coaching award in the game, in 2012 after “help along the way from Fabio Capello, Brendan Rodgers, Malky Mackay and Harry Redknapp”.

In Bahrain, Hudson worked under Peter Taylor and Argentinian coach Gabriel Calderon and also spent time studying with Real Madrid and Mourinho, and later with Marcelo Bielsa at Athletic Bilbao.

New Zealand were Oceania champions under his watch and 2016’s biggest climbers in world football, moving up 54 places. They are now ranked 112 in the world.

The bookies haven’t latched on to Hudson yet – although Aitor Karanka’s exit from Middlesbrough yesterday was swiftly followed by the offer of 25-1 odds with SkyBet that he would be the next Norwich boss. Ralf Rangnick, the Red Bull Leipzig sporting director, has shortened to 16-1 and Malky Mackay to 20-1.

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