Vardy's academy has its first success

Jamie Vardy may have successfully found his replacement after League Two club Stevenage offered a contract to Tamworth striker Danny Newton.

Jamie Vardy and Danny Newton

Newton (left) signs his first professional deal as Vardy (right) looks on Source: Twitter

Newton has become the first graduate of Vardy’s 'V9 academy' to sign a professional contract at a club within the Football League.

The 26-year-old had been working in a factory, just as Vardy did before his big breakthrough, and racked up an impressive 34 goals for non-League Tamworth in the National League North for the 2016/17 season.

Newton is now giving up his factory job in Leicester to pursue his dream, having never played professionally in the past.

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Vardy, who pledged over £100,000 ($168,000 AUD) of his own money to the academy, enjoyed a rapid rise pu through the English Football League system to eventual Premier League success with Leicester.

Vardy was very excited that he has contributed to Newton getting his big break.

“When I found out Danny had received an offer from Stevenage I was buzzing,” said Vardy in an interview with the Guardian. “He was one of the first players that we recruited to the academy and he seems to have had a similar journey to myself.”

Co-founder of the academy, John Morris, who doubles as Vardy’s agent, added: “The academy has proved that there are league players within the non-leagues. Danny is a great example that it is never too late to fulfil your dream of being a professional footballer.”

Five other players from the academy have been invited to trial with Football League clubs for pre-season and could be offered contracts.

The 42 players on the academy lived and trained at Manchester City’s Football Academy earlier this month. They were split into three teams of 14 players and worked with coaches such as Chris Ramsey, Alan Stubbs and Robbie Stockdale, all filmed for an upcoming documentary.

A total of 60 scouts, including talent-spotters from Chelsea, Manchester United, Arsenal, Liverpool and Everton, were present for the showcase matches, in which Newton caught the eye of Stevenage.

“We are sure more V9 academy hopefuls will follow Danny’s footsteps into professional football,” said Morris.

“The academy has put the players firmly in the shop window and given them a fantastic learning experience, which will undoubtedly benefit their future careers. The players were excellent throughout the week and deserve to be given an opportunity in the professional game.”


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3 min read
Published 20 June 2017 at 11:17am
Source: SBS The World Game