In 2012, Jamie Vardy was playing non-league football for Fleetwood Town.
Today, he is the top scorer in the Premier League with Leicester City, and is currently on a record run of scoring in ten straight matches.
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Vardy’s meteoric rise is the stuff of fairytales, and now he is giving back to those who are trying to break through as he did a few years ago.
The 28-year-old striker has set up the V9 Academy, a program aimed at finding non-league talent and helping the players develop into “the next Jamie Vardy.”
I know there are players out there in a similar position to where I was that just need an opportunity,
More and more players are dropping out of the system early. For me, it was at Sheffield Wednesday when I was 16 because they thought I was too small. I remember how that felt and it’s difficult to come back from or even think about the professional game.
I’ve thought for some time that something could be done about it and after several conversations with my agent and my fiancee, Becky, we decided to set up V9 to unearth talent and give those players a shot – hopefully at earning professional contracts but also to learn what it takes to be a professional at the highest level.
In just his second season in the Premier League, Vardy has become one of the most prolific strikers in Europe, earning him Player of the Month honors for October as well as a call-up to the England national team.