Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy has made the news once again. After setting a new Premier League record last weekend, he has now hit the headlines because of a new and noble venture.
Vardy’s rise to fame has been an inspiring story altogether. Three years ago, he was playing for Fleetwood town, a non-league side. Two years later, he found himself in the top tier of the country, playing for Leicester City. Another year and he is now here, boasting of the record of scoring in 11 consecutive games. Vardy made this new record against Manchester United, breaking the record of United legend Ruud Van Nistelrooy.
His story has become more interesting when Manchester United have started considering him as the next transfer target. Under these circumstances, Jamie Vardy, in an interview with BBC Football Focus, has talked about his wish to launch a new football academy to seek the next stars of non-league football.
It is of no doubt that the striker’s decision to open this academy was mainly because of his own life. According to the English international, more players are dropping out of the system sooner than they should. Sometimes it is because of the negligence and sometimes it’s entirely due to sheer bad luck of the kid. For Vardy himself, it happened at Sheffield Wednesday at the age of 16, when they thought that he was too small. “I remember how that felt and it’s difficult to come back from or even think about the professional game,” he admits.
However, Vardy has come back and he has been extremely successful, but he definitely does not want other talented kids to go through the same struggle. The aim of his ‘V9 Academy’, therefore, will be to discover hidden talents and help them fulfill the dreams.
The striker told BBC Football Focus, “I know there are players out there in a similar position to where I was that just need an opportunity.”
“I want to give people the shot I was given because there are some talented players in non-league. There are a lot of teams which won’t take the gamble and probably will rather pay over the odds to get a player who has the experience but they might not do it either,” he further added.
Jamie Vardy admits that if the teams can afford to take a risk with talented non-league players, it can do nothing but benefit the beautiful sport.
He also mentioned that applications for his academy will be accepted in May 2016 and it will follow a selection process. Eventually 60 non-league players will be shortlisted to participate in a week-long course in the summer of the following year.
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Photo by hectorhannibal