Football

Jamie Vardy: from minnow to maestro in four years

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There’s no denying it - Jamie Vardy is looking as promising an English talent as Wayne Rooney did when he scored his unforgettable wonder goal against Arsenal in 2003 as a 16-year-old.

The only difference - Leicester City's number nine is 28-years-old.

The striker scored in his 11th consecutive top flight game on Saturday against Manchester United to break Ruud van Nistelrooy's 12-year record - and it was only fitting that Vardy took the top spot against the Dutchman's former club.

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That goal has put the the Englishman firmly in the limelight, both domestically and internationally, but this apparent fairy tale carries a story which shows that with determination and hard work, the impossible can become a reality.

Non-League Vardy

At 16, Vardy was released by Sheffield Wednesday and joined non-League side Stockbridge Park Steels, before joining Halifax Town in 2010 after a brief loan trial at Crewe Alexandra.

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In his debut season, the striker scored 27 goals and was voted the Players' Player of the Season. Halifax won the Northern Premier League title largely down to Vardy’s eye for goal.

He moved to Fleetwood Town only four games into the 2011/12 season and scored against Kettering Town twice in his third outing for the club.

With his Midas touch, Vardy notched up 31 league goals, winning the Conference Premier title and the Golden Boot, giving Fleetwood their first ever promotion to the Football League.

Championship football

Vardy was breaking records on and off the pitch, becoming the first £1 million pound man to be signed from non-League football.

He scored on his debut against Torquay United in the League Cup, but his season form was very poor, scoring only four goals in 26 outings, resulting in heavy criticism from fans. Vardy revealed in an interview with BBC Sport last March that he considered retiring before the side were promoted.

However, Vardy went on to score 16 goals and propelled Leicester to promotion into the Premier League.

Premier League struggles

In his debut season at the peak of English football, Vardy returned only five goals in 34 Premier League matches. However, his performances against the big teams like United made the pundits and fans take notice.

His work rate alone was something to be commended, but his attitude to winning, pace and general play was something that showed he had potential.

This season, Vardy has fulfilled his potential and is reaping the rewards - fourteen goals in fourteen games, an England call-up from Roy Hodgson and a new Premier League record.

The England international is a perfect example to youngsters in the game of how working hard and never giving up can lead to success.

Should Vardy start for England at the Euros? Give your opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
Premier League
Football
Leicester City

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