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Next Jamie Vardy at Stevenage?

19 June 2017 National Sport


Last Updated: 19/06/17 5:38pm

Danny Newton (left) signed to participate in Jamie Vardy's V9 Academy in November last year

Danny Newton (left) signed to participate in Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy in November last year

Danny Newton’s move to Stevenage means he is the first graduate of Jamie Vardy’s V9 Academy to earn a professional deal.

Leicester factory worker Newton, 26, was out of contract after a season in which he juggled his day-job with part-time football and scored 34 goals for Tamworth in the Conference North.

Dubbed ‘the wasp’ for his relentless style of play which means defenders do not have a moment’s rest, Newton has already been compared to Vardy – by the Foxes striker himself.

“When John [Morris, Vardy’ agent and V9 Academy co-founder] told me that Danny had received an offer from Stevenage I was buzzing,” said Vardy, whose rags-to-riches story saw him playing in the seventh tier of English football just seven years ago and combining his football with work in a carbon fibre factory.

“He was one of the first players that we recruited to the academy and he seems to have had a similar journey to myself.”

Five other players from the V9 academy have been invited to participate in pre-season with professional clubs , which one player described as a “football paradise week”.

Vardy holds the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches

Vardy holds the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches

Vardy holds the Premier League record for scoring in consecutive matches

The players lived and trained at Manchester City Football Academy’s first-team campus, working with professional coaches including Chris Ramsey, Alan Stubbs and Robbie Stockdale, before playing three friendly matches against external opposition on June 9 in front of more than 60 professional scouts.

“The academy has proved that there are league players within the non-leagues,” added Morris. “Danny is a great example that it is never too late to fulfil your dream of being a professional footballer.”

The V9 academy was filmed as a ‘fly on the wall’ documentary for TV that will be aired next season and follows the academy hopefuls through their journey from non-league to the Etihad campus and beyond.


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