The former England midfielder was without a club in the summer having ended his second spell with Hull City. But a call out of the blue from a former teammate resulted in him taking up the offer from United to be player-coach for the club's Under-21s.
Huddlestone told Soccer AM: "It was quite random to be fair. Paul McShane, who I played with at Hull, did the role last year before retiring.
"He then put my name forward and it was midway through pre-season when I got the phone call (offering me the job)."
The 35-year-old is now firmly involved with the under-21 set-up and has offered a glimpse into the type of mindset required to carry out a unique role.
He added: "The first week (in the job) the first team was away so there was no eyes on me or any pressure like that. It's a big old building so I was saying to Macca (McShane) 'I'm just going to shadow you for the first week'.
"But the five or six coaches I'm working with daily are top notch and really helpful for me, coming from that playing side into a sort of hybrid role.
"When you're on the pitch you're expected to give a bit of info so its similar to that really. The hardest part is mindset-wise, remembering that you're not fighting to stay in the team.
"You want to do as well as you can but you know your main job is to try and develop the players around you rather than try and stay in the team for the next game."