Cambridge United defender Blaine Hudson has joined Football Conference new boys Welling United on a season-long loan deal.
Centre-back Hudson joined the U’s as a scholar in 2008 and after impressing for the CRC side he made his first team debut in January 2010 against Eastbourne Borough at the R Costings Abbey Stadium.
Hudson made a number of appearances during the 2011/12 campaign but injury and illness left Hudson struggling to nail down a regular first team spot last term and in March, having started just one league match, he was loaned out to Conference South outfit Billericay Town for a month.
The towering 6ft 5in defender enjoyed a successful loan with the Blues before returning to the U’s line-up for the final match of the season against Macclesfield Town. However, with the signing of Ian Miller and Tom Bonner, as well as Josh Coulson and Rory McAuley vying for a centre back berth, his chances of playing regularly looked limited for the forthcoming campaign.
Director of Football Jez George eluded to that fact saying:
“This is a sensible agreement for everyone concerned. Blaine needs regular football after a couple of stop-start seasons, we need to see how he performs at this level over a full season but with the players that have signed, and those still at the club in his position, it looked unlikely that he would have enough game time with us this season. Welling are a good club, we know their manager very well as he also coaches our satellite academy in London and this is a fantastic opportunity for Blaine to play regularly at our level. We can assess his level of performance and progress over the season and we can all make a decision on his future next summer. With Blaine still being under the age of 24, we are protected despite his current contract expiring at the end of this season, so every eventuality is open to us at the end of his loan.”
United do not have a recall clause as part of the agreement and Hudson won’t be eligible to play for Welling when they host the U’s on the first Tuesday of the forthcoming campaign, nor when the Wings travel for the return fixture at the R Costings Abbey Stadium in February, or should the two clubs be drawn in any cup competition.